May 16, 2017 02:06 AM EDT
Nowadays, lithium-ion battery is considered as one of the main sources of energy in modern electronics for its compact size, light weight, and high efficiency. To make more powerful, high energized and more compact batteries scientists are now using the same electroplating method that is used in making gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents.
A research team from the University of Illinois, Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation and Nanjing University in China have used electroplating methods in making ultra thin lithium-ion battery cathodes that will help them to create flexible and solid-state batteries. In the journal of ScienceAdvances researchers described that in the conventional lithium-ion battery, cathodes were filled with lithium-containing powder mixed with gluelike binders and other additives into a slurry substances.
Lead researcher and director of research and development from Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation, Hailong Ning said,“The glue is not active. It doesn't contribute anything to the battery, and it gets in the way of electricity flowing in the battery. You have all this inactive material taking up space inside the battery, while the whole world is trying to get more energy and power from the battery”. he also explained that researchers replaced the powder and glue processes of lithium-ion batteries and directly applied the lithium materials onto the aluminum foil by using electroplating method.
According to ScienceDaily, this electroplating method will help a lithium-ion battery to store 30 percent more power than a traditional cathode as it’s not containing any glue consuming space. Another advantage of this method is, it can charge faster because current can pass directly through the cathode and don’t have to navigate around the inactive glue or slurry's porous structure.
Professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab at Illinois, Dr. Paul V. Braun who was also connected with the study explained that electroplating method also reduces the production cost of a lithium-ion battery. First of all, electroplating process creates pure cathode materials, so manufacturers can make high-end products by using low-cost materials. The second most important factor is, they are not spending a single penny on any glue or other substances. Ultimately anybody can get more energy by spending less amount of money.