Argonne National Laboratory is researching the use of composite materials based on selenium sulfides for electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries. The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne is carrying out the research to increase energy density in batteries for use in electric vehicles.
Researchers at Argonne and King Sbdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia undertook the study to find an electrode material that can hold more energy. It aims to boost capacity from between 120- and 160-milliamp-hours (mAh) per gram of material to around 678-mAh per gram with use of the composite.
The research teams decided to look at carbon-selenium sulfide composites because they are anticipated to have an energy density five times greater than conventional batteries so could be used in EVs to increase driving range.
The researchers are analysing the chemical changes that take place in the novel electrodes during charge – discharge cycles. Using advanced x-rays they could observe exactly what intermediate stages the materials went through as well as detect their chemical oxidation states. The analysis showed the chemical composition of the electrolyte had the greatest effect on the chemical changes so the using the selenium sulfide composites could improve efficiency of the electrolyte.