In general, studies on batteries consider metals as the main material. However, researcher Anatoliy Vereshchagin and his colleagues at the University of St. Petersburg decided to take a different path.
Polymers and energy retention
Polymers are a broad group that includes, among others, materials based on nitroxyl (HNO). This “class” is promising for energy storage, as it has a high charge density and fast charging. But then, why is it not more common to use it?
The answer is simple: these materials have a low electrical conductivity, which prevents the collection of electrons, even when highly conductive additives are used.
Vereshchagin, however, solved this impediment through a combination of nickel metal and a compound known as salen. The union resulted in the Ni-Salen metalpolymer, which operates as a molecular wire, to which nitroxyl molecules are attached, which now have a highly conductive wiring.
Durable and safe battery
The prototype had a specific capacity of up to 91.5 mAh per gram of material, retaining 87% of its theoretical capacity. As for durability, the retention presented was 66% after 2,000 loading and unloading cycles.
“The new battery is capable of operating at low temperatures and will be an excellent option where fast charging is crucial. It is safe to use – there is nothing that could pose a danger of combustion, unlike cobalt-based batteries that are widely used today, “explained Professor Oleg Levin, who also participated in the study.
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