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Improving Lithium-Ion Batteries with Nanowires

New research led by electrical engineer Shadi Dayeh of the University of California, San Diego is aimed at improving lithium-ion batteries through possible new electrode architectures with precise nano-scale designs. Dayeh's team created nanowires that block diffusion of lithium (Li) across their silicon surface and promote layer-by-layer axial lithiation of the nanowire's germanium core. This work could lead to "an effective way to tailor volume expansion of lithium ion battery electrodes which could potentially minimize their cracking, improve their durability, and perhaps influence how one could think about different electrode architectures," says Dayeh. This video shows the axial lithiation of a silicon-coated nanowire's germanium core, as well as radial diffusion of lithium into an uncoated germanium nanowire.