As we all know, battery is the short board of UAV and other unmanned systems. The pursuit of better batteries means the exploration of alternative materials. Scientists believe that silicon has a great prospect. A team at Clemson University has come up with a new design that overcomes some of the problems of incorporating the material into lithium-ion batteries and can produce a lightweight, high-capacity battery that can be used in a variety of aerospace equipment.

Scientists have been working hard to study the potential of silicon in lithium-ion batteries for a long time. Using this material instead of graphite as anode component can increase the storage capacity of these devices by up to 10 times, but some problems need to be solved first.

In these cases, silicon does not have the same durability as graphite. As the battery is charged and discharged, silicon tends to expand, shrink and decompose into small pieces. This leads to anode degradation and battery failure, but over the years, we have seen many potential solutions, including making silicon into sponge like nanofibers or tiny nanospheres before integrating silicon into devices.

A new study by Clemson University hopes to enhance the reliability of silicon with carbon nanotubes called buckypaper, which we also found have been used to develop the next generation of aircraft heat shields. The sheets are paired with tiny nanoscale silicon particles, which the team says are like a deck of cards, with silicon particles sandwiched between each layer.

It can be used in the silicon battery of aerospace equipment, and the storage capacity can be increased by up to 10 times

“Separate carbon nanotubes make silicon nanoparticles electrically connected to each other,” said shailendra chiluwal, lead author of the study “These nanotubes form a quasi three-dimensional structure that keeps the silicon nanoparticles together even after 500 cycles and reduces the resistance due to nanoparticle breakage.”

The team believes that the advantage of this approach is that even if the charging and discharging of the battery causes the silicon particles to break, they will still lock into the sandwich structure and be able to perform their functions. In theory, this means that the functional but experimental battery has a higher capacity, which means that energy can be stored in a lighter battery, thereby reducing the overall weight of the device.

As a reward, the use of nanotubes creates a buffer mechanism that allows the battery to charge at four times the current iteration rate. These lightweight, fast charging, high-capacity batteries can be used for a variety of purposes, including electric vehicles, but space is an area of the team’s true potential, funded in part by NASA.

“Most satellites get their energy mainly from the sun,” said Ramakrishna podila, author of the study “But when satellites are in the shadow of the earth, they have to be able to store energy. We have to make the batteries as light as possible because the heavier the satellite is, the higher the mission cost. “

Other possibilities include the spacesuit and the Mars probe’s power system, the researchers said. They are now working with industry partners to bring the technology out of the lab and into the real world.

Editor in charge: GT


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