Faster recharging lithium batteries could be developed according to research groups from the University of Bath and the University of Illinois at Chicago, who have discovered that adding charged metal atoms to tunnel structures within batteries improves their performance.
“Understanding these processes is important for the future design and development of battery materials, and could lead to faster-charging batteries that will benefit consumers and industry,” said Professor Saiful Islam from the University of Bath.
It was recently discovered that large metal ions such as potassium can improve charge storage in batteries, but it wasn’t understood why this was the case.
The research teams used a combination of structural experiments and computer simulations to unravel why adding charged potassium into tunnel-like structures of low cost manganese oxide has a strong beneficial effect on the battery performance.
They discovered that adding positively charged ions increased how fast lithium moves within the tunnel structures, which is crucial to improving the charging of batteries.