Surprising discovery could lead to better batteries
Earlier, scientists had assumed that lithium concentration would continuously increase in the lattice structure, when it is being charged. But that is not the case. In fact, lithium's ions are distributed unevenly within the lattice causing degradation and wear and tear within the structure. "...once lithium goes in, it stretches the lattice, and when lithium goes out, the lattice shrinks. So each time you charge and drain a battery, its active component will be stressed, and its quality will degrade over time. Therefore, it is important to characterize and understand how lithium concentration changes both in space and time," said Felix Wang, team leader of the research at Brookehaven laboratories.
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