Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new type of electrolyte that they say will help improve the performance of lithium batteries and supercapacitors, as well as extend battery life.
Scientists published the concept in Nature Materials, which says: "This proof-of-concept work represents a new paradigm for electrochemical energy storage."
What is the uniqueness of this electrolyte? Scientists have added a compound to them that they are similar to surfactants and can be used to disperse oil spills into liquids. They found that this compound brings "novelty" to the electrolyte and can be used in a variety of applications in energy storage and other industries.
Researchers have found that this material has a higher energy density than many other electrolytes, and it has a high viscosity even at high temperatures, thus helping to improve battery safety and stability.
A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) explained that this is because its molecules are assembled in a highly ordered structure when in contact with another material, such as an electrode. The structure helps to prevent the so-called filter phenomenon - that is, the ion distribution on the electrode surface is more dispersed, or the ion multilayer film is thicker, which has a negative impact on the energy storage efficiency.
The application of this technology may include high-temperature energy storage. In fact, this electrolyte is even better at high temperatures and safer and less flammable than other electrolytes used in lithium batteries and supercapacitors. According to researchers, their electrolytes can increase battery energy density by four to five times, and may even replace batteries in electric vehicles, stationary storage, and consumer electronics.
Nowadays, all kinds of research are dazzling, but MIT scientists believe that studying a new type of material is exciting, and great results are obtained from various studies.