Yolk-and-shell nanoparticle could boost capacity in lithium-ion batteries

The technology world is ever changing and one of the fastest changing parts of the tech world are screen resolutions. It seems every time we look up resolutions are getting higher. One important aspect of the tech world for products of all types that hasn't evolved as fast as consumers would like is battery life. A new nanoparticle called the yolk-and-shell nanoparticle could usher in a new era of lithium-ion batteries.

One of the challenges in making better batteries is coming up with electrodes that are better able to go through charge and discharge cycles. These charge/discharge cycles can lead to the shedding and reformation of the skin of the electrode consuming the lithium and degrading battery performance over time.

Researchers from MIT and Tsinghua University in China have found a new way to prevent the irreversible loss of lithium while providing a big boost in capacity and power of the battery. The researchers created an electrode made of nanoparticles with a solid shell.

The "yolk" inside that solid shell can change size repeatedly without affecting the shell. The team says that this could mean big improvements in batteries. Aluminum was used as a key material in the negative electrode of the battery and the shell is made from titanium dioxide. The yolk material is separated from the shell by a void allowing it to expand and contract without affecting the shell. The materials used in the new battery are inexpensive and the new battery could be easily scalable. Indications are that the new type of battery is close to ready for real-world applications.