TN Narayanan and colleagues from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad (TIFRH) report their recent findings on how a lithium ion battery, similar to existing commercial designs, can be can be charged directly using light.
In 1976, Stanley Whittingham accelerated advances in the field of energy storage by successfully demonstrating the first proof-of-concept rechargeable lithium ion battery. This design uses a layered material of titanium disulfide (TiS2) as the cathode and lithium as the anode.
The use of lithium metal as the anode raised security concerns, as a result of which scientists went back to the drawing board to develop a commercially viable design. In 1985, Akira Yoshino demonstrated that carbon could replace lithium metal, leading to the commercialization of the first lithium ion battery by Sony Energy Devices Corporation in 1991.
This design was improved by John B. Goodenough, who proposed a change from TiS2 of cobalt oxide to act as the cathode. Whittingham, Yoshino and Goodenough were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 for their pioneering research in the development of lithium ion batteries that revolutionized modern energy storage.
Scientists continue their efforts to create safer and more durable batteries that can be easily recharged. Some of these developments include experimenting with different materials for electrodes. Michael de Volder’s lab at the University of Cambridge, was the first to report the use of polycrystalline metal-halide-based 2D perovskite materials in a photo-rechargeable battery.
Three years later, TN Narayanan’s group used a heterostructure (combination of two materials molybdenum sulfide and molybdenum oxide) electrode in a lithium ion battery. In this study Narayanan and colleagues observed a charging mechanism driven by light. Amar Kumar, lead author and graduate student in TN Narayanan’s group, investigated whether the light was actually charging the battery or whether this observation was simply the result of an unknown side reaction.
Recently, Kumar and colleagues successfully demonstrated the functionality of a light chargeable battery with lithium metal-TiS2/TiO2 hybrid electrode (half-cell) assembly. The TIFRH team further improved this design by replacing lithium with graphite, thus, developing a safer solar battery.
Lithium intercalated TiS2/TiO2 as the cathode and graphite as the anode seems to act as a battery, with an efficiency similar to that used in cell phones, but can also be rechargeable using light with solid electrolytes-hence, safer batteries. Computational studies providing further mechanism insight were carried out by Soumya Ghosh’s group at TIFR Hyderabad.
This work opens up many opportunities for the development of commercially viable light chargeable batteries while also raising many fundamental questions about the charging mechanism, thermal effects and so on. Currently, TN Narayanan’s group (TIFR Hyderabad) along with Michael De Volder’s group (University of Cambridge) are exploring potential candidate materials for the development of robust renewable energy harvesting cum storage systems.
Researchers are also trying to get a clearer understanding of the mechanism that drives the movement of such candidate systems.
The findings are published in the journal small.
Amar Kumar et al, Photo-Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries using TiS2 Cathode, small (2023). DOI: 10.1002/smll.202303319
Provided by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Citation: Researchers demonstrate the functioning of a photo-rechargeable two-electrode battery (2023, July 18) retrieved on July 19, 2023 from https://techxplore.com/news/2023-07-functioning -photo-rechargeable-electrode-battery.html
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