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‘Nanoboxes’ promise to boost energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries

By Chemical Engineering |

Researchers from Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN; www.ibn.a-star.edu.sg) and Hydro-Quebec’s Research Institute (Montreal, Canada; www.hydro.qc.ca) have synthetized silicate-based “nanoboxes” that could greatly increase the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries as compared to that of conventional phosphate-based cathodes. IBN’s executive director, professor Jackie Y Ying says IBN researchers have achieved simultaneous control of the phase purity and nanostructure of Li2MnSiO4 for the first time. This will allow us to move closer to attaining the high theoretical capacity of silicate-based cathodes for battery applications, she says. The Li2MnSiO4@C porous nanoboxes* have been synthesized via a wet-chemistry associated solid-state reaction method. The uniqueness of this material is the hollow nanostructure with a well-crystalline porous shell composed of phase-pure Li2MnSiO4 nanocrystals. The researchers approach combines the advantages of wet-chemistry reaction methods and solid-state approaches, while avoiding their disadvantages. According to the researchers, this has not been reported previously. Powder x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy images have shown that the high…
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