New advances at Caltech may go a long way toward improving things. Researchers working in the lab of Julia R. Greer have made a discovery that could lead to lithium-ion batteries that are both safer and more powerful. Their findings provide guidance for how lithium-ion batteries, one of the most common kinds of rechargeable batteries, can safely hold up to 50 percent more energy.

Greer’s research focuses on creating and characterizing classes of materials with multi-scale microstructural hierarchy, which combine three-dimensional (3D) architectures with nanoscale-induced material properties. Expert available for comment on fabrication, syntheses, and properties of 3D micro- and nano-architected materials and additive manufacturing (AM) techniques.

The research is described in a paper in the journal MRS Bulletin titled, "From Ion to Atom to Dendrite: Formation and Nanomechanical Behavior of Electrodeposited Lithium." Other authors include Simon K. Nieh of Front Edge Technology, Joel Berry of the University of Pennsylvania and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Wenpei Gao and Xiaoqing Pan of UC Irvine, and David J. Srolovitz of the City University of Hong Kong. The work was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the U.S. Department of Energy.


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A Close-Up View of Lithium-Metal Dendrites




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