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Using carbon nanotubes in lithium batteries can dramatically improve energy capacity
Date:6/20/2010

ry only were seen at high-power output levels. In future work, the team aims to produce thicker electrodes and extend the improved performance to low-power outputs as well, they say. In its present form, the material might have applications for small, portable electronic devices, says Shao-Horn, but if the reported high power capability were demonstrated in a much thicker form with thicknesses of hundreds of microns rather than just a few it might eventually be suitable for other applications such as hybrid cars.

While the electrode material was produced by alternately dipping a substrate into two different solutions a relatively time-consuming process Hammond suggests that the process could be modified by instead spraying the alternate layers onto a moving ribbon of material, a technique now being developed in her lab. This could eventually open the possibility of a continuous manufacturing process that could be scaled up to high volumes for commercial production, and could also be used to produce thicker electrodes with a greater power capacity. "There isn't a real limit" on the potential thickness, Hammond says. "The only limit is the time it takes to make the layers," and the spraying technique can be up to 100 times faster than dipping, she says.

Lee says that while carbon nanotubes have been produced in limited quantities so far, a number of companies are currently gearing up for mass production of the material, which could help to make it a viable material for large-scale battery manufacturing.


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Contact: Jennifer Hirsch
jfhirsch@mit.edu
617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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