A Structure That Boosts Battery Efficiency With Improved Electrodes

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The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a structure that can extend the operational life of battery-powered items ranging from cellphones to vehicles. This structure created by applying an ion beam to the interface of a thin-film anode composed of silicon germanium or silicon and germanium improves electrode function and battery efficiency by increasing adhesion to the collector. Thin-film semiconductors are known to dramatically increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately they also tend to delaminate from the collector which causes the anode\'s capacity to rapidly fade. Researchers at the University of Florida discovered that ion-beam mixing can mitigate this problem resulting in a more durable structure. The global thin-film and printed battery market still in the earliest stages of commercialization is expected to grow from about $182 million in 2011 to more than $1.2 billion in 2017. University of Florida researchers used ion-implanted germanium to initiate controlled decomposition. They discovered that germanium has an ability to form lithium-rich compounds during battery operations making it an excellent surface for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. Because decomposition greatly increases the surface-area-to-volume ratio the decomposed surface is ideal for increasing battery capacity (the amount of electric charge a battery can store) and reducing the kinetic limitations involved with chemical reactions. Large volume expansion of compounds such as germanium and silicon will ordinarily cause delamination from the metal electrode surface resulting in loss of electrical contact and compromised battery capacity upon cycling. The researchers discovered how to ion beam mix the interface between deposited films for active cathodes and anodes and the metallic electrode in order to improve adhesion and the battery\'s cycling behavior. When used for germanium nanowires the increased surface-area-to-volume ratio can help increase overall battery performance. Application: Structure that utilizes an electrochemical process to improve electrode function enhancing battery life and performance


1) Reduces kinetic limitations boosting battery performance 2) Increases capacity extending battery life 3) Decreases transfer lengths leading to greater energy transfer rates and more power

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