Silicon Nanowires Shows Promise for Lithium ion Battery Breakthrough

Silicon is an attractive anode material for lithium batteries because it has a low discharge potential and the highest known theoretical charge capacity.

Published: 22-Dec-2007

> Photos taken by a scanning electron microscope of silicon nanowires before (left) and after (right) absorbing lithium. Both photos were taken at the same magnification.

Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices.

The new version, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers.

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