May 29, 2014

Scientists Pinpoint the Creeping Nanocrystals Behind Lithium-Ion Battery Degradation

Two breakthrough studies track the nanoscale structural changes that degrade battery performance during cycles of charge and discharge

Batteries do not age gracefully. The lithium ions that power portable electronics cause lingering structural damage with each cycle of charge and discharge, making devices from smartphones to tablets tick toward zero faster and faster over time. To stop or slow this steady degradation, scientists must track and tweak the imperfect chemistry of lithium-ion batteries with nanoscale precision.