More powerful batteries could help electric cars achieve a considerably larger range and thus a breakthrough on the market. Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry at ETH Zurich and Empa -Switzerland – have now developed a nanomaterial which enables considerably more power to be stored in lithium ion batteries. They provide power not only for electric cars, but also for electric bicycles, smartphones and laptops; nowadays, rechargeable lithium ion batteries are the storage media of choice when it comes to supplying a large amount of energy in a small space and light weight.
Monodisperse tin nanodroplets in an electron microscopic
During the development of the nanomaterial, the issue of the ideal size for the nanocrystals arose, which also carries the challenge of producing uniform crystals. “The trick here was to separate the two basic steps in the formation of the crystals – the formation of as small as a crystal nucleus as possible on the one hand and its subsequent growth on the other,” explains Maksym Kovalenko, head of the research team at ETH Zurich. By influencing the time and temperature of the growth phase, the scientists were able to control the size of the crystals. “We are the first to produce such small tin crystals with such precision,” says the scientist.