Gold Wires and Electrolyte Gel Improve Battery Longevity

Posted by at 9:01 am on April 25, 2016

batteryResearchers at the University of California at Irvine say they’ve found a way to increase the number of charge cycles a battery has from a few thousand to more than 200,000.

Their discovery could lead to batteries that can be recharged repeatedly for years without losing capacity, which his something that happens with today’s lithium-ion batteries. The researchers coated gold nanowire with manganese oxide and a layer of electrolyte gel.

The gel and manganese oxide prevent corrosion. The nanowire holds the charge. The longer the wire, the greater the charge contained within. Using gel, rather than liquid, is wUniversity of California at Irvinehat provided the breakthrough in this case, but the researchers don’t yet fully understand the mechanism behind their discovery.

The researchers’ next steps include making a true battery from the gold-and-gel combo, discerning the mechanism of action, and then testing if other materials can be substituted for the gold. Adding gold to batteries, even in small quantities, would add to their cost.

The researchers did not say if or when their discovery might be commercialized in consumer products.

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