Lithium-ion batteries: a revolution for Nanotechnology

A U.S is working on a new technology for lithium-ion batteries, where the use of nanotechnology would multiply by 1000 the power density. The use of nanotechnology in order to try to make more efficient batteries is not new. One remembers, for example genetically modified viruses MIT or even carbon nanotubes from Honda. This time, the research is conducted by Prieto Battery, a startup founded by a professor at the University of Colorado.

At first glance, the goal seems disproportionate: creating lithium-ion batteries 1000 times more powerful and 10 times more endurance than today’s batteries. That would solve the problems of range of electric vehicles! Still, the company has raised, for that, $ 5.5 million (4.45 million euros) as explained in the website of Silicon Valley.

Its technology “3D batteries,” which would have a solid electrolyte and not liquid, is based on the principle of electroplating. An old principle but theorized by Prieto to combine the use of nanotechnology and the copper foam as a substrate. The anode and the cathode are interleaved and the ions travel no longer to be performed, which allows to avoid any loss of energy. The presence of aluminum oxide nanowires would increase the surface diffusion of ions up to 10 000 times.However, Prieto Battery is still in the state of research, but the company hopes to commercialize its technology within the next twelve months.

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