With Elon Musk and his buildup of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage, the revolution of batteries are at it’s peak. In his opinion, “Existing battery technology sucks. But actually making better batteries has, for years, proved nearly impossible, due to a host of challenges around design and material science”. To dispute his theory, researchers at Drexel University’s College of Engineering proved the creation of an instant battery charging system. Rather than the traditional long hour wait for a full charged battery, Drexel’s instant battery charger is granting a maximum waiting limit of just a few seconds for full charge.
As technology grows to its full capacity, gears must evolve as well. Drexel University guaranteed the success of doing so with their research. Drexel’s nanomaterials group decision to collaborate with Professor Barsoum enabled a discovery in the new material identified as MXenes, the vital contributor to the instant battery charger. The material is apart of a nanotechnology substance, which can be used to advance electrodes in batteries. The key for a faster charging energy storage device is in the electrode design, which is an essential component of batteries where energy is stored during charging. So reasonably, to store more energy, the materials should have places to put it. Electrode materials in batteries offer ports for charge to be stored, an effort that Drexel developed within their battery research. Towards the advancement between speed and storage, Drexel’s team created the new electrodes out of MXene, a 2D material that is highly conductive. To show off their work, the new battery electrode design got published in Nature Energy.
The product’s creation is due to Yury Gogotsi, the lead researcher of the team at the University and Bach professor at Drexel’s College of Engineering. “We demonstrate charging of thin MXene electrodes in tens of milliseconds. This is enabled by very high electronic conductivity of MXene. This paves the way to development of ultrafast energy storage devices than can be charged and discharged within seconds.” says Gogotsi. In the investigation of MXenes as materials for lithium ion batteries, it has been found for their use of a wide range of applications including electronic devices, sensors, and for our purpose, materials in energy storage.
Maria Lukatskaya is the first author of the journal, Nature Energy, that taught the development and testing for MXene, in claim that they demonstrated charging of batteries with Thin MXene electrode in hundredths of a second. “In traditional batteries and supercapacitors, ions have a tortuous path toward charge storage ports, which not only slows down everything, but it also creates a situation where very few ions actually reach their destination at fast charging rates,” said Lukatskaya, who conducted the research as part of the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute. Their design alters the way traditional batteries store energy, the nanomaterial opens up more paths for ions to move more rapidly throughout the material. “The ideal electrode architecture would be something like ions moving to the ports via multi-lane, high-speed ‘highways’, instead of taking single-lane roads. Our macroporous electrode design achieves this goal, which allows for rapid charging – on the order of a few seconds or less.”
Drexel’s work looks to be promising for a better future, but for now, the instant battery charger is a prototype. News of it is solely from the concept alone, so it’s unclear how long it lasts or how it will work. This idea will not be in the works of only Drexel, but other contributors will proceed to help expand a concept into a material.