Battery Research and Applications

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.” Read more about battery research and applications in this Collection of stories from the Physics archive.

Speeding Up Battery Charging with Quantum Physics

In a 2017 study of nanoscale batteries with quantized energy states, researchers predicted that coupling the batteries together quantum mechanically would allow them to be charged faster.

Relativity Powers Your Car Battery

These 2011 simulations revealed that the lead-acid battery found in most cars would have a far lower voltage if not for the relativistic effects in the lead atom.

A New Model for Electrolyte Conductivity

A 2019 model provided a new way to calculate the conductivity of electrolytes with a very high concentration of ions. The approach could help to more efficiently screen electrolyte materials for batteries.

Wave Trick May Lead to Wireless Charging at a Distance

Finding ways to charge batteries from a distance is useful for mobile electronics and medical implants. In 2018, researchers showed that they could boost the energy efficiency of long-distance charging with the help of wave interference.

Polarons Get the Full Treatment

Quasiparticles known as polarons can contribute to charge transport in rechargeable batteries. In 2019, researchers developed a new formalism for modeling polarons that could help describe the quasiparticles’ behavior in many types of materials.

Magnetic Field Aligns Polymer Structures

Using patterned materials in a battery can improve its performance. In 2015, researchers demonstrated a creative patterning method that relied on polymers self-organizing into nanoscale cylinders or sheets.

Defects Step Aside to Let Battery Current Flow

In 2011, researchers explained how a then novel type of rechargeable battery is able to bundle together defects so that they don’t block the flow of ions between electrodes.

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