(ORDO NEWS) — In search of highly efficient batteries capable of satisfying the growing demand for renewable energy storage devices, researchers from King Abdullah Science and Technology University (Kaust) made a significant breakthrough.
Using laser pulses to modify the structure of MXene, a promising alternative electrode material, the researchers increased its energy intensity and improved other key properties. This development can pave the way for the creation of improved anode materials for new generation batteries that exceed the capabilities of traditional lithium-ion batteries.
The need for advanced rechargeable batteries
As the world switches to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, the need for high-performance batteries is becoming increasingly relevant. These batteries play an important role in storing energy from periodically renewable sources. Despite the fact that lithium-ion batteries have proven their effectiveness, they can still be improved. One of the approaches to solving this problem is to improve the characteristics of electrode materials.
MXene: New Electrode Material
MXene – a material developed by Bayhan’s Zachra at KAUST – has great prospects as an electrode material that, thanks to its exceptional conductivity, can replace graphite in some batteries. It consists of layers of transition metals such as titanium or molybdenum, connected to carbon or nitrogen atoms. These layers can contain lithium atoms, like graphite, but with an additional advantage – high conductivity. MXins based on molybdenum carbide show excellent lithium storage capacity, although their characteristics deteriorate during multiple charge and discharge cycles.
Overcoming degradation of characteristics
To solve the problem of deterioration of the characteristics of MXenes, a team of specialists led by Husam N. Alsharifa and graduate student Zakhra Bayhan found that a chemical change occurs in the material, resulting in molybdenum oxide. This change over time leads to lower productivity.
To solve this problem, researchers used infrared laser pulses to create small molybdenum carbide nanotakes in the MXene structure. This process, known as laser scrubbing, includes a compound of nanotacks with a width of about 10 nanometers with MXene layers using carbon materials.
Laser Pulse Benefits
The introduction of nanotechs using laser scrubbing gives several advantages. Firstly, it provides an additional container for storing lithium and speeds up the charging and discharge process. In addition, laser treatment reduces the oxygen content in the material, preventing the formation of problem molybdenum oxide. Finally, strong relationships between nanotoxes and layers increase MXene electrical conductivity and stabilize its structure during charging and discharge. According to Bayhan, this technology is an economical and efficient method of optimizing battery operation.
Future applications and expert opinions
Zahra Bayhan and Professor Husam Alsharif believe that laser scrubbing can be used as a common strategy to improve the properties of other MHenes. This discovery can revolutionize the technology of rechargeable batteries, offering improved energy storage capabilities for renewable energy sources.
Scientific and historical context
The development of modern batteries is critical to the global transition to renewable energy. As noted in a study published in Nature Energy, an exponential increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected in the coming years. However, researchers are constantly studying alternative electrode materials to overcome the limitations of current battery technology.
The opinions of experts on this topic shed light on the significance of this breakthrough. Dr. Linda Nazar, a professor at Waterloo University and a leading specialist in battery research, emphasizes the importance of finding new electrode materials to increase battery efficiency. She claims: “The development of new electrode materials is critical to achieving a higher energy density and long service life for rechargeable batteries”.
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