UNIST Researchers Develop Ultra-Fast Charge Battery

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology scientists in South Korea believe they can build electric car battery pack that will fully recharge in less an a minute.

Published: 18-Aug-2012

A group of Korean scientists, working at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), have developed a fast-charge lithium-ion battery that can be recharged 30 to 120 times faster than conventional li-ion batteries. The team believes it can build a battery pack for electric vehicles that can be fully charged in less than a minute.

One of the main issues with rechargeable batteries is that they take longer to recharge as their physical volume grows. When you recharge a battery, it charges from the outside in — so the fatter the battery, the longer it takes. You can somewhat avoid this by breaking larger batteries into smaller individual cells, but that technique only gets you so far.

The Korean method takes the cathode material — standard lithium manganese oxide (LMO) in this case — and soaks it in a solution containing graphite. Then, by carbonizing the graphite-soaked LMO, the graphite turns into a dense network of conductive traces that run throughout the cathode. This new cathode is then packaged normally, with an electrolyte and graphite anode, to create the fast-charging li-ion battery. Other factors, such as the battery’s energy density and cycle life seem to remain unchanged.

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