Led by Grant Norton, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, the researchers have filed patents on the nanoscale-based technology, which also allows the batteries to re-charge many more times and more quickly than current models. They expect to bring it to the market within a year.
In particular, the researchers have developed an anode made of tin, rather than the carbon used currently. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are made up of two electrodes, the cathode and an anode. During charging, the lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode. The anode holds the lithium ions and stores the battery’s energy. When the battery is used, the ions move from the anode to the cathode, discharging electrons and creating an electric circuit.
The new tin anode has the potential to store almost three times the energy of graphite.