New process could overcome major problem with batteries


A new technique to overcome a major problem with batteries could allow for next-generation energy, researchers have claimed.

In the future, engineers hope to make the next generation of the lithium-ion batteries that power everything from phones to cars using nickel-rich layered cathodes. They could provide large amounts of energy at relatively little cost, allowing for a host of new technologies.

But when those cathodes are used for a prolonged time, they begin to break down, with their capacity quickly shrinking. That means that they can quickly need replacing – which might mean refitting the whole device they are powering.

Scientists have tried to find ways to stop those cathodes from breaking down, and allowing the batteries to keep working over time. But they have failed to find a good solution, with many of the fixes bringing problems of their own.

Now, however, researchers say they have come up with a simple fix that both keeps those cathodes stable and working and resolves other problems too.

The researchers hope to develop the strategy so that it can be used in large-scale production, potentially transforming the batteries that will power the cars and other devices of the future.