Oxygen Flow Key to Long-Lasting Batteries
When oxygen atoms escape, they change the local electronic structure and cause the voltage to fade in a next-generation battery, according to theoreticians at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Univ. College London. A lithium, manganese, nickel cathode has a high energy density and charges and releases energy quickly, but it fades too soon for commercial use. The team found the release of oxygen leaves vacancies throughout the structure along with stray electrons. The vacancies promote structural disorder that reduces the energy barrier for lithium ions to leave the cathode and reduces the battery’s voltage, just as seen in earlier experiments.
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