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Improving Density, Durability And Performance Of Lithium-ion Batteries

portable electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones get more robust, consumers would like for batteries to keep pace. But rechargeable batteries — Lithium-ion (Li-ion) being among the most popular – haven’t done that. They are 25 year old technology powering things produced this year.

Japanese researchers from a prive sector-government team report an advance in Li-ion battery technology that they describe as a major breakthrough. They fabricated a cathode (positive electrode) of lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) in which the compound’s individual grains are aligned in a specific orientation. The researchers claim that this yields a significantly higher-performing battery than one with a randomly-oriented LiCoO2 cathode.

Primary, or non-rechargeable, batteries and secondary batteries both produce current through an electrochemical reaction involving a cathode, an anode, and an electrolyte (an ion-conducting material). However, apply an outside current to a secondary battery and the negative-to-positive electron flow that occurs during discharge is reversed. This allows the battery to restore lost charge.
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