September 28, 2012

Nickelblock: an element's love-hate relationship with battery electrodes

Images show how nickel, which enhances battery capacity, also appears to hinder charging rates

Anyone who owns an electronic device knows that lithium ion batteries could work better and last longer. Now, scientists examining battery materials on the nano-scale reveal how nickel forms a physical barrier that impedes the shuttling of lithium ions in the electrode, reducing how fast the materials charge and discharge. Published last week in Nano Letters, the research also suggests a way to improve the materials.