Originally published on CleanTechnica.
A new atomic analysis methodology — one that will likely allow for the increasing of lithium-ion battery performance — has been developed by researchers at Nissan Motor Company and Nissan Arc, according to a new press release.
The new methodology was the result of a collaborative research and development effort between Nissan Arc, Tohoku University, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
“The invention of this new analysis method is essential to further develop the next generation of high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. It will certainly become one of our core technologies. The utilization of this analysis method in our future R&D will surely contribute to extending the cruising range of future zero-emission vehicles,” stated Takao Asami, senior vice president of Nissan Motor Company and President of Nissan Arc.
The press release provides specifics:
The analysis examines the structure of amorphous silicon monoxide (SiO), widely seen as key to boosting next-generation lithium-ion battery (Li-ion) capacity, allowing researchers to better understand electrode structure during charging cycles.
Silicon (Si) is capable of holding greater amounts of lithium, compared with common carbon-based materials, but in crystalline form possesses a structure that deteriorates during charging cycles, ultimately impacting performance. However, amorphous SiO is resistant to such deterioration. Its base structure had been unknown, making it difficult for mass production. However, the new methodology provides an accurate understanding of the amorphous structure of SiO, based on a combination of structural analyses and computer simulations.
The atomic structure of SiO was thought to be inhomogeneous, making its precise atomic arrangements the subject of debate. The new findings show that its structure allows the storage of a larger number of Li ions, in turn leading to better battery performance.
The new research is detailed in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.