Researchers at the NRC's Nanotechnology Research Centre and the University of Alberta's Department of Physics have managed to double the charge storage capacity of a lithium-ion battery electrode material. How? By testing at elevated temperatures (from 40 to 150 °C, instead of only at room temperature), they were able to overcome nucleation barriers and slow diffusion in lithium-aluminium electrodes and, for the first time, reversibly form new lithium-rich phases. Details of their investigations are available in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.
This discovery is part of the NRC-University of Alberta Nanotechnology Initiative. This collaboration project on in-operando characterization of nanostructured energy storage materials is one of 9 projects currently underway to expand Canadian nanotechnology capacity and foster breakthrough research.