Nexeon - a company formed following a breakthrough discovery made at Imperial College London - has revealed its plans to commercialise a lithium-ion battery technology.
The development will lead to batteries with significantly higher energy density and longer lifetime between charges. Longer operating times and brighter screens for laptops and smart phones, and cordless tools with more power on tap are just some of the benefits expected.
The Nexeon technology is based on the use of silicon anodes instead of the carbon-based anodes used today, and this allows greater charge to be stored within the battery. Silicon provides far higher performance as an anode material, offering charge densities around ten times that of carbon.
Lithium-ion batteries have come to dominate the rechargeable batteries market as a result of their higher performance for a given cell size and weight, their low self-discharge rate and the absence of a ‘memory effect’. Silicon has been known to offer potential as a superior anode material, but until now, silicon has suffered from physical instability when repeatedly charged and discharged. Nexeon’s approach solves this problem by changing the physical form (‘morphology’) of the silicon, allowing it to realise its full potential as a battery anode.