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Nanostructure Makes Batteries Better on Very First Charge

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Various nanomaterials have been drafted into the quest to improve the charge capacity of anodes (negative electrodes) in lithium-ion batteries. Their role primarily has been to help silicon—which offers ten times the charge capacity of graphite—last more than just a few charge/discharge cycles. Everything from graphene to nanofibers have been enlisted into help silicon better survive the rigors of the expansion and then contraction that occurs when silicon anodes are charged and discharged.

Now scientists at Columbia University have developed a nanostructure for the silicon anode of Li-ion batteries that will help them overcome one of their most challenging moments: the very first charge/discharge cycle that occurs during manufacturing.