Scientists have developed a material to improve performance of lithium-ion batteries. It stimulates speed that makes them even more important for consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and solar grid storage.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) conducted the research to improve charging speed and performance. The researchers discovered that changing cobalt oxide (CoO) to vanadium disulfide (VS₂) in the cathode might help.
A professor at RPI, Nikhil Koratkar said that the material provides improved energy density due to its lightweight. Nikhil is also a co-author of the research. He also stated that it provides faster charging due to highly conductive properties. This was the reason behind choosing the material for experiment.
Based on lithium-ion cycle between cathode and anode, the batteries discharge and charge accordingly. Usually, the cathode comprises of lithium cobalt oxide and anode of graphite.
Titanium Disulfide to Stabilize Vanadium Disulfide
The professor also emphasizes that to improve battery performance the material used as electrodes plays an important part. The aim is to develop an even better lithium-ion innovation.
The research team at RPI initially figured that lithium causes asymmetry in spacing among vanadium atoms. This is Peierls distortion phenomenon. It helps in the breaking vanadium disulfide flakes.
To overcome this issue, around 2.5 nanometer of titanium sulfide layer covered the VS2 flakes. This bypasses the Peierls distortion, and stabilizes VS₂ flakes, improving performance of the battery.
Even though VS₂ is emerging as a promising material in field of science, its usage reduces battery life. To overcome this, vanadium sulfide was coated with TiS₂ as buffer layer binding it together, giving mechanical support.