Scientists have developed a new graphene-based battery material with charging speed five times faster than today’s lithium-ion batteries. The breakthrough by researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in South Korea provides promise for the next generation batteries, particularly related to mobile devices and electric vehicles.
Lithium-ion batteries were first commercialised in 1991, and widely applied to markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles, according to researchers at SAIT who collaborated closely with a team from Seoul National University.
However, with standard lithium batteries requiring charging times of at least an hour to fully charge, even with
quick charging technology, and considered to have reached their limit for capacity expansion, there have been numerous attempts to explore use of new innovative materials. Among the materials looked at, graphene, a material with high strength and conductivity, has widely become the primary source of interest as the representative next generation material.
In theory, a battery based on the ‘graphene ball’ material requires only 12 minutes to fully charge, researchers said. The battery can maintain a highly stable 60 degree Celsius temperature, with stable battery temperatures particularly key for electric vehicles, they said. In the study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers applied graphene and discovered a mechanism to mass synthesise it into a 3D form like popcorn using affordable silica (SiO2).
This “graphene ball” was utilised for both the anode protective layer and cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries. This ensured an increase of charging capacity, decrease of charging time as well as stable temperatures.
“Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price,” said Son In-hyuk from SAIT, who led the project.
“At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment
where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly,” said In-hyuk.