RESEARCH
June 15, 2009

Nanoparticles promise superfast batteries

Embed the right nanoparticles in porous carbon and you have an electrode that combines the high storage capacity of batteries with the high power output of ultracapacitors.

The electrode consists of lithium iron phosphate particles ranging from 60 to 100 nanometers embedded in porous carbon with pore sizes of 3 to 10 nanometers. The nanoparticle-carbon material stores electric charges in two ways. Lithium ions from an electrolyte surrounding the electrode reach the nanoparticles through carbon pores. At the same time, electrons from the carbon reach the nanoparticles directly.

A battery made with the nanoparticle-carbon electrode can charge and discharge in about 16 seconds, said Yu-Guo Guo, a professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Chemistry.

Extend the strategy to other cathode and anode materials, and you can develop next-generation electrochemical energy storage devices with both high-power and high-energy densities, said Guo.

Such hybrid energy storage devices could be used to power electric and hybrid electric vehicles and store electricity from wind and solar power plants.

Research paper:
LiFePO4 Nanoparticles Embedded in a Nanoporous Carbon Matrix: Superior Cathode Material for Electrochemical Energy-Storage Devices
Advanced Materials, published online May 12, 2009

Researchers' contact:
Yu-Guo Guo

Related stories and briefs:
Nanomaterial promises record fast batteries -- related research

Back to ERN June 15, 2009

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