The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has developed an innovative next generation lithium-ion battery — a promising new platform for creating more durable, lightweight and efficient lithium-ion (Li-ion) power.
Working with AFOSR, Dr. Jim Tour and his research team at Rice University (along with other funding agencies) demonstrated a way to chemically unzip cylindrical shaped carbon nanotubes into soluble graphene nanoribbons (GNR), all without compromising graphitic structure’s electronic properties.
The team’s findings were published in the journal IEEE Spectrum detailed how the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries is significantly increased when GNR combines with graphene nanoribbons and tin oxide.
The prototype used in laboratory tests retained more than double that of traditional Li-ion batteries by yielding an initial charge capacity of 1,520 milliamp hours per gram (mAh/g) and a median average of 825 mAh/g.
Traditional lithium Li-ion batteries break down and lose efficiency because when they expand and contract they have no flexibility.
Researchers were able to improve the flexibility that graphene nanoribbons give the anode which increases the battery capacity.