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Argonne boosts silicon anode performance in lithium-ion batteries with new electrolyte mixture

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 10:44 -- Paul Crompton

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed an electrolyte mixture and additive they claim boosts the energy density of next generation lithium-ion batteries by up to 50%. 

To develop its electrolyte additive the scientists added small amount of a second salt containing doubly or triply charged metal cations magnesium (Mg2+), calcium (Ca2+), zinc (Zn2+), or aluminium (Al3+). 

Image by Argonne National Laboratory: shows charging results in doubly or triply charged metal cations, such as Mg2+ (orange spheres), along with singly charged lithium ions (green spheres) being co-inserted from the electrolyte into the silicon (blue spheres) anode material. This process stabilises the anode, enabling long term cycling of lithium-ion batteries. 

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