With the holidays behind us, there are countless people who are starting to set up various portable electronic devices they received as presents this year. Inside those devices, including mobile phones, laptops and new ‘wearables,’ are advances in battery technology that provide a low-cost, lightweight, long-lasting and stable power source. With fossil fuels dwindling and CO2 regulations becoming more stringent, battery technology is increasingly being used in applications such as renewable energy storage and electric vehicles, which require ever more lightweight, safe, high-power and fast-charging batteries.
The cornerstones of battery performance are power, which impacts current and discharge characteristics, and energy storage capacity. Battery power is determined by the rate of reaction between the electrodes and the electrolyte, while storage capacity is a function of the volume of electrolyte within the cell. These properties are intrinsically linked to the intercalation structure and primary particle size of the electrode particles, which determine how well the mobile ions are taken up and released by the electrode. Particle size distribution and particle shape also influence particle packing and hence the volume of electrolyte that can be accommodated within the interstitial voids of the electrode, which affects storage capacity.
Read our article in our Xpress Magazine to see how these and other properties effect lithium ion batteries which power many of the devices we take for granted these days.
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