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2D materials could make lithium-air batteries a reality

二维材料可以使锂空气电池成为现实

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【来源】: 英国工程技术学会
【时间】: 2019-01-13
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According to University Of Illinois At Chicago researchers, lithium-air batteries could be even more efficient and provide more charge with the incorporation of advanced catalysts made from two-dimensional materials.

Catalysts help increase the rate of chemical reactions inside batteries, and depending on the type of material from which the catalyst is made, they can help significantly boost the ability of the battery to hold and provide energy.

“We are going to need very-high-energy-density batteries to power new advanced technologies that are incorporated into phones, laptops and especially electric vehicles,” said researcher Amin Salehi-Khojin.

His team synthesised several 2D materials that can serve as catalysts. A number of their 2D materials, when incorporated into experimental lithium-air batteries as the catalyst, enabled the battery to hold up to 10 times more energy than lithium-air batteries containing traditional catalysts.

“Currently, electric vehicles average about 100 miles per charge, but with the incorporation of 2D catalysts into lithium-air batteries, we could provide closer to 400 to 500 miles per charge, which would be a real game-changer,” Salehi-Khojin said. “This would be a huge breakthrough in energy storage.”

15 different types of 2D transition metal dichalcogenides or TMDCs were synthesised. TMDCs are unique compounds because they have high electronic conductivity and fast electron transfer that can be used to participate in reactions with other materials, such as the reactions that take place inside batteries during charging and discharging.

The investigators experimentally studied the performance of 15 TMDCs as catalysts in an electrochemical system mimicking a lithium-air battery.


“In their 2D form, these TMDCs have much better electronic properties and greater reactive surface area to participate in electrochemical reactions within a battery while their structure remains stable,” said Leily Majidi first author of the paper.

“Reaction rates are much higher with these materials compared to conventional catalysts used such as gold or platinum.”

One of the reasons the 2D TDMCs performed so well is because they help speed both charging and discharging reactions occurring in lithium-air batteries.

“This would be what is known as bi-functionality of the catalyst,” Salehi-Khojin said.

The 2D materials also synergise with the electrolyte – the material through which ions move during charge and discharge.

“The 2D TDMCs and the ionic liquid electrolyte that we used acts as a co-catalyst system that helps the electrons transfer faster, leading to faster charges and more efficient storage and discharge of energy,” he said.

“These new materials represent a new avenue that can take batteries to the next level; we just need to develop ways to produce and tune them more efficiently and in larger scales.”