University Overseas Has New Development That Boron Nitride Coating Extends Battery Life And Ensures Battery Safety
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The powder boron is available in four variants. These are hexagonal boron, rhombohedral and cubic boron. The boron-nitride is usually a graphite structure. The need to increase battery capacity, improve battery life, and ensure battery safety is increasing. It's a major challenge, since we are increasingly dependent on devices like mobile phones and electric vehicles, which require this energy. The Overseas University Engineering team, led by Yuan Yang assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering, announced on April 22, 2019 that a new technique has been developed for safely extending battery life. This involves implanting a nanocoating made from boron (BN) to stabilize the electrolyte solid in a lithium-metal battery.
Presently, the conventional lithium-ion batteries used in everyday life are very common. The batteries' low energy density can lead to a shorter life expectancy and even short circuits. This is due to the highly-flammable liquid electrolyte that fills the battery. It is possible to increase the energy density by using lithium metal in place of graphite as the anode of a Li-ion Battery. The theoretical capacity of lithium metallic is 10 times that of graphite. Dendrites form easily during the lithium plating procedure. A short circuit can occur if the dendrites reach the separator, located in the middle, of the battery.
Yang explained: "We chose to concentrate on solid ceramic electrolytes. Solid ceramics electrolytes are a great alternative to the flammable liquids used in lithium-ion batteries. They offer greater safety and power density.
Since most solid electrolytes consist of ceramic, they are non-flammable and do not pose any safety risks. Solid ceramic electrolytes are also strong mechanically and can even inhibit the growth or dendrites of lithium, allowing the lithium metal to become the anode. The majority of solid electrolytes do not react well with lithium metal, and they are easily corroded.
To address these challenges, the research team collaborated with the Brookhaven National Lab and the City University of New York deposited a 5 to 10 nm boron nitride (BN) nanofilm as a protective layer to insulate the electrical contact between the metallic lithium and the ionic conductor (solid electrolyte), a small amount of polymer or liquid electrolyte is added to penetrate the electrode/electrolyte interface.
Researchers selected boron nitride to be the protective layer, as it has high electrical insulation and is chemically and mechanically resistant to lithium. Researchers created boron with holes that let lithium ions pass through. This makes it an ideal separator. In addition, boron is easily prepared by chemical vapor deposited to create a thin continuous film with atom-like scales (nanoscale).
Researchers are currently working to extend their methods to a wide range of solid electrolytes, and to further optimize the interface. They hope to produce solid state batteries with high performance.
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