#科技头条#【锂硫磺电池新构造:想法源于小肠】

#科技头条#【锂硫磺电池新构造:想法源于小肠】来自剑桥大学的科研团队近日研发出一种新型锂硫磺电池负极结构,即给电池电极装上氧化锌构成绒毛状电线网的以减少电池因活性物质流失导致的退化,该团队成员称他们的想法源于人类小肠内吸收营养以及过滤杂质的内壁绒毛。

Superbatteries based on the human gut set to power your phone: Researchers reveal radical design based on an intestine

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By STACY LIBERATORE
Researches are thinking outside of the box when it comes to designing next-generation batteries – from vitamins to lowly snail shells and now, human intestines.
A prototype of a lithium-sulfur battery uses structures that mimic finger-like projections found in the lining of the small intestines.
This, researchers found, hinders the degradation of the battery over time.
The team layered the villi-like structures, which are made tiny zinc oxide wires, battery's electrodes to trap falling active material, allowing it to be reused repeatedly - unlike most rechargeable batteries.
'It's a tiny thing, this layer, but it's important,' said study co-author Dr Paul Coxon from Cambridge's department of materials science and metallurgy.
'This gets us a long way through the bottleneck which is preventing the development of better batteries.'
This new design comes from researches at the University of Cambridge, which is a solution to the key technical problems that manufactures face when commercially developing lithium-sulfur batteries – the loss of material inside ruins the battery.
Researches collaborated with the Beijing Institute of Technology to test the light weight nanostructured material that mimics villi.
In the human body, villi are used to absorb the products of digestion and increase the surface area over which this process can take place.
To create this human intestine inspired battery, the team layered material with a villi-like structure, made from tiny zinc oxide wires, on the surface of one of the battery's electrodes.
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By placing this structure on top, it could trap fragments of the active material as they break off, keeping them electrochemically accessible and allowing the material to be reused – ultimately hindering the degradation of the battery.
The traditional lithium-ion battery is made of three separate components: an anode (negative electrode), a cathode (positive electrode) and an electrolyte in the middle.
Manufactures tend to use graphite and lithium cobalt oxide to create the anode and cathode.
Positively-charged lithium ions move back and forth from the cathode, through the electrolyte and into the anode.
And it is the crystal structure of the electrode materials that determines how much energy can be squeezed into the battery.
For example, due to the atomic structure of carbon, each carbon atom can take on six lithium ions, limiting the maximum capacity of the battery.
The Cambridge researchers created a functional layer which lies on top of the cathode and fixes the active material to a conductive framework so the active material can be reused.
And the layer consists of tiny, one-dimensional zinc oxide nanowires that researchers grew on a scaffold.
The team tested the concept using commercially-available nickel foam for support.
Once they received positive results, the foam was replaced with a lightweight carbon fiber mat to reduce the battery's overall weight.
'Changing from stiff nickel foam to flexible carbon fiber mat makes the layer mimic the way small intestine works even further,' said study co-author Dr Yingjun Liu.
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This functional layer, like the intestinal villi it resembles, has a very high surface area.
The material has a very strong chemical bond with the poly-sulphides, allowing the active material to be used for longer, greatly increasing the lifespan of the battery.
This is the first time a chemically functional layer with a well-organised nano-architecture has been proposed to trap and reuse the dissolved active materials during battery charging and discharging,' said the study's lead author Teng Zhao, a PhD student from the department of materials Science & Metallurgy.
'By taking our inspiration from the natural world, we were able to come up with a solution that we hope will accelerate the development of next-generation batteries.'
However, the team notes that a commercially developed is still some year away, as they still have a few features to nail down.
For example, the team has improvement with the number of times the battery can be charged and discharged, but it is still not able to go through as many charge cycles as a lithium-ion battery.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3875746/Superbatteries-based-human-body-set-power-phone-Researchers-reveal-radical-design-based-intestine.html

 

 


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