Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Silicon whiskers lead to battery breakthrough

Science Magazine is reporting a major breakthrough in battery research.  The report states, "A new advance in nanotechnology could change all that. Lithium ion batteries made with tiny whiskers of silicon can store as much as 10 times the charge of conventional rechargeables,." Yi Cui, a materials scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleague have been able to forge "whiskerlike wires of silicon" that potentially hold fare greater charges. Cui's team found that their silicon whisker anode materials were able to hold up to 10 times the charge of conventional graphite anodes in Lithium ion batteries.

"It's a really nice proof of concept," says Gerbrand Ceder, a materials scientist and battery expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "Making lithium ion batteries capable of holding 10 times the charge of conventional versions still requires a cathode that holds 10 times the charge, too," Ceder says. "However," he adds, "incorporating a silicon nanowire-based anode could allow batterymakers to reduce the weight and volume of the anode and add more cathode material in its place, which could give lithium batteries a power boost. That could make life a little easier for all of us."

Science Daily observes, "The new technology could result in laptop batteries that run for days and electric cars that cruise for hundreds of kilometers on a single charge."

Update12/19/07: I scooped Brian Wong, but not for long. He caught up with the story over night.

1 comment:

bw said...

Hi Charles

I will have to keep closer tabs on your site to shorten the scoop times.

You have great articles.

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