Stanford University scientists have dramatically improved the performance of lithium-ion batteries by creating novel electrodes made of silicon and conducting polymer hydrogel, a spongy substance similar to the material used in soft contact lenses and other household products. The researchers have designed a new technique for producing low-cost, silicon-based batteries with potential applications for a wide range of electrical devices.
An illustration of a new battery electrode made from a composite of hydrogel and silicon nanoparticles (Si NP). Each Si NP is encapsulated in a conductive polymer surface coating and connected to a three-dimensional hydrogel framework“
Developing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with high energy density and long cycle life is of critical importance to address the ever-increasing energy storage needs for portable electronics, electric vehicles and other technologies,” said study co-author Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford.
The research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.