Photo-chargeable Li-ion Battery Could Be a Game Changer for EVs and Electronic Devices

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have come up with a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for EVs. The key component of this research finding is that the mechanism increases the charging rate without losses in energy density and electrochemical performance.  

Generally speaking, the photo-assisted mechanism of the new Li-ion battery simply charges the Li-ion battery in the same way as the photoelectric effect, generating electric current by means of light photons.

The new Li-ion battery utilizes a transparent window (transparent quartz) above its cathode. It allows concentrated light to enter and illuminate the cathode during charging. In addition, its cathode also contains a lithium manganese oxide, abbreviated as LiMn2O4 (LMO) which is a semiconducting material known to interact with light. While absorbing the photons in the light during charging, the manganese element, in the LMO, changes its charge state from trivalent to tetravalent (Mn3+ to Mn4+). In response, According to SolarDaily’s article, the Li-ion ejects faster from the cathode than without the presence of the photon-assisted mechanism. These all would lead to a decrease in the charging time.

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Source:@Solar_Edition

Photo:@nature & @Solar_Edition

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