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To Boost Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity by up to 70%, Add Silicon

Silicon-rich anodes will let batteries hold more energy

4 min read
Photo-Illustration: Edmon de Haro
Photo-Illustration: Edmon de Haro

There was a time when budding inventors were advised to build a better mousetrap. Nowadays, they’d do rather well to build a better lithium-ion battery. These are what power our phones, laptops, portable power tools, an increasing number of cars, even homes. Some places are turning to giant lithium-ion batteries to store energy from solar panels so that it can be used after dark. While lithium-ion cells have gotten incrementally better over the years, they seem set for a big boost in 2019 through the increased use of an element not unfamiliar to the electronics industry: silicon.

The reason lies in some fundamental electrochemistry. Lithium-ion cells work by sending lithium ions from the positive electrode (in a battery, it’s called the cathode) to the negative electrode (the anode) during charging. During discharge, lithium ions move in the opposite direction, from anode to cathode. So charging such a battery amounts to storing lithium in the anode. If your battery could store more lithium, it would store more energy.

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The Day Business Suits Became In-App Purchases

Meta selling digital “fashion” isn’t a surprise, but the details come apart at the seams

4 min read
Meta Avatars wearing fashion from the Avatars Store.

Meta's Avatars Store will sell virtual fashion from major labels.

Meta

Odds are you’ve added a piece to your wardrobe for a job interview or an important meeting. But what if that meeting happened in the metaverse? Would you spend money to upgrade your avatar?

Meta is hoping you’ll answer “yes.” CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s new Avatars Store, slated to go live within weeks, in an “avatar fashion show” with Instagram’s Eva Chen.

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Vanadium Anodes for Faster-charging, Longer-lived Batteries

Startup TyFast aims for 3-minute charging, 20,000-cycle life

3 min read
A foil rectangle labelled Tyfast, with two silver squares coming out of the top.

Startup Tyfast is making batteries based on a new anode material that allow it to charge in minutes and last for several thousands of charge cycles

Tyfast

To fulfill the vision of EVs that travel a thousand miles or phones that run for days on a single charge, most battery developers are racing to make batteries that can pack twice the energy in the same weight.

Not startup Tyfast, which is “approaching next-generation battery development in a counter-current direction,” says GJ la O’, CEO and cofounder of the 2021 spinoff from the University of California, San Diego.

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A Multiphysics Approach to Designing Fuel Cells for Electric Vehicles

White paper on fuel cell modeling and simulation

1 min read
Comsol Logo
Comsol

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) often reach higher energy density and exhibit greater efficiency than battery EVs; however, they also have high manufacturing costs, limited service life, and relatively low power density.

Modeling and simulation can improve fuel cell design and optimize EV performance. Learn more in this white paper.