From cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power source that fuels everyday life. But in recent years, they have also drawn attention for catching fire. In an effort to develop a safer battery, scientists report in the ACS journal Nano Letters that the addition of nanowires can not only enhance the battery's fire-resistant capabilities, but also its other properties.
The team mixed the solid-state electrolyte with 5, 10, 15 and 20 weight percent of the Mg2B2O5 nanowires. They observed that the nanowires increased the conductivity of the electrolytes and allowed them to sustain more stress compared to the electrolyte without nanowires. The increase in conductivity was due to an increase in the number of ions moving through the electrolyte at a faster rate. The group also tested the flammability of the electrolyte and found that it barely burned. When the nanowire-enhanced electrolyte was paired with a cathode and anode like it would be in a battery, the set-up had a better rate performance and higher cyclic capacity than batteries without added nanowires.
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