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Boosted batteries teased from Li-Ion visualization research – SlashGear

Longer lasting, higher capacity, and cheaper rechargeable batteries could be in the pipeline as scientists finally figure out exactly what’s going on inside, potentially opening the door to increased electric car range and smartphones that spend less time plugged in. The microscopic imaging techniques, developed by researchers at the US Department of Energy’sPacific Northwest National Laboratory, are expected to make it possible to examine what’s happening within a live lithium-ion battery, particularly around areas of chemistry which so far power research has struggled to understand and refine for longer-lasting gadgets.

Traditional li-ion battery research takes place under so-called dry conditions, using transmission electron microscopes to examine how positively charged ions deform the shape of electrodes. The repeated transmission of those ions can cause the electrodes to swell, and eventually be worn down; over the life-span of the battery, this reduces the total charge it can hold, meaning more frequent charge cycles and, eventually, replacement.



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