June 14, 2024
Breakthrough Gel Enables Electric Vehicles To Travel 1,000 Kilometers On A Single Charge

Breakthrough Gel Enables Electric Vehicles To Travel 1,000 Kilometers On A Single Charge

Battery technology has become a central focus in the world of innovation, particularly in the development of electric vehicles (EVs). The current battery range for EVs is around 700 kilometers on a single charge, but researchers are aiming for a breakthrough that would allow EVs to travel up to 1,000 kilometers. One potential solution being explored is the use of silicon, a material known for its high storage capacity, as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries for EVs. However, practical implementation of silicon has proven to be a challenging puzzle for researchers.

A team of researchers from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) may have cracked the code. Professor Soojin Park, Ph.D. candidate Minjun Je, and Dr. Hye Bin Son from the Department of Chemistry at POSTECH have developed a cost-effective and highly efficient high-energy-density lithium-ion battery system using micro silicon particles and gel polymer electrolytes. Their findings were published in the journal Advanced Science.

The use of silicon as a battery material poses challenges due to its expansion and contraction during charge and discharge cycles, which significantly impacts battery efficiency. While nano-sized silicon particles partially address this issue, the production process is complex and expensive. In contrast, micro-sized silicon, which is larger and more practical in terms of cost and energy density, presents its own limitations due to the increased expansion issue.

To overcome these challenges, the research team utilized gel polymer electrolytes to develop a stable and economical silicon-based battery system. Gel electrolytes, unlike liquid electrolytes, exist in a solid or gel state and offer better stability. The researchers used an electron beam to form covalent linkages between micro-silicon particles and gel electrolytes, which helps disperse internal stress caused by volume expansion during battery operation and enhances structural stability.

The results were impressive. Even with micro silicon particles that were a hundred times larger than those used in traditional nano-silicon anodes, the battery exhibited stable performance. Additionally, the silicon-gel electrolyte system demonstrated similar ion conductivity to batteries using liquid electrolytes, with an approximate 40% improvement in energy density. Moreover, the team’s manufacturing process is straightforward and ready for immediate application.

Professor Soojin Park emphasized the significance of their research, stating, “We used a micro-silicon anode, yet we have a stable battery.” Their findings bring us closer to the development of a high-energy-density lithium-ion battery system that could enable EVs to travel up to 1,000 kilometers on a single charge. This breakthrough has the potential to revolutionize the EV industry and pave the way for more sustainable and efficient transportation.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it