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Dendrite Growth Reduction with Nanotubes in Li-ion Battery

By Enterprise Technology Review | Friday, March 15, 2019

Batteries are a necessary element of electronics. They are used mainly in all portable electronic devices. As a result, battery technology and its developments are highly necessary. With the increasing need for batteries, there is a wide variety of different the technologies available for improved efficiencies.

Rechargeable lithium metal batteries are one of the most attractive high-energy-density batteries due to their large specific capacity and the lowest reduction potential of metallic lithium. However, the uncontrollable Li dendrite growth and the resulting unstable interfaces during repeated Li plating/stripping lead to severe safety issues and a short cycle life, which are aggravated especially at a high current density. The artificial protective layer stabilizes Li metal anode and used for designing high-energy batteries for practical utilization.

Scientists at Rice University proved that the thin nanotube films effectively dismiss dendrites that grow naturally from unprotected lithium metal anodes in batteries. This effect results in the failure of the battery and decrease in usage. The dendrites are the primary cause of reducing the charging speed in the batteries.  In order to overcome disadvantages, they are now counting on films of carbon nanotubes to make high-powered, fast-charging lithium metal batteries. The research team also said that the growth of the dendrite could be stopped by using advanced materials, which are simple and inexpensive.

Lithium metal is an ideal anode material for rechargeable batteries due to its extremely high theoretical specific capacity, low density, and the lowest negative electrochemical potential. In the manufacturing process, the lithium metal foil is coated with the multiwalled carbon nanotube film where the lithium dopes the nanotube which in turn diffuses the lithium ions. Physical contact between the nanotubes and lithium reduces the film of the nanotube. This reduction in the film of nanotubes is the major advantage to make a fast-charging battery said to be lithium metal battery.

Lithium metal battery cells could reach a cost of $100 per kilowatt-hour. The cost is lower than the lithium-ion batteries, which would be the key to a new battery successor.

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