There are some things we should request from a decent power supply. Last but not least, it should not require the oven temperatures to work. This is just a fact.
For decades, fluoride has remained on the sidelines as a potential competitor to lithium-ion batteries. If it is not necessary to cook at more than 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit), the fluoride could be the advantage in the game. Now, it seems like things are about to break out in the world of batteries.
"Fluoride batteries can have a higher energy density, which means they can last longer – up to eight times longer than batteries in use today," says Caltech researcher Robert Grubbs , famous for winning a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2005.
This means that you can connect your smartphone once a week instead of once a day. Or, if the spaceships are more yours, accumulate more energy in a smaller cell to save vital weight.
The type of electrochemical technology that powers your smart devices uses positively charged lithium "Li2 +" cations as a kind of chemical "piston". to take an electric charge through a circuit.
At full charge, a supply of cations occupies the battery's anode. Once the circuit is closed, the ions expand into the cathode, producing a current that performs the most important work. To reset the cell, a voltage is sufficient to "push" the lithium piston again.
Of course, this piston can also work backwards. Negative ions like fluoride (F-) can also create the voltage necessary to draw electrons through a conductor.
In fact, somehow they can do even better work, thanks to the lower number of ion charges.
"For a battery that lasts longer, you need to move more charges," says Simon Jones, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"Moving multiplexed metal cations is difficult, but a similar result can be achieved by moving several individually loaded anions, which travel relatively easily."
the difference is a bit like sending a waiter with a tray of drinks. A waiter carrying a tray of drinks might seem more efficient, but a couple of agile waiters with a drink each are much more agile and pack much more easily.
As such, technology based on small anions could theoretically create a better battery. And fluoride has a sufficiently low atomic mass to attract attention as a suitable candidate for anions since the 1
"But fluoride can be difficult to work, particularly because it's so corrosive and reactive," says Grubbs.
This does not mean that no one has successfully made a working fluoride ion battery. But the ions are part of a solid structure, which as you can imagine does not let them slide too easily. Not at room temperature at least.
Over 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) this is less of a problem. Of course, now you need to take the battery to a temperature that can cook a muffin.
To get around this problem, Caltech researchers bet on an electrolyte solvent called bis (2,2,2-trifluoroethyl) ether. Or BTFE for short.
In finding the solvent did a fairly appropriate job of allowing the fluoride anions to mix between the electrodes at room temperature, the team ran models to find ways to modify its performance with additives.
stable, allows a high conductivity and can tolerate operation with a variety of voltages.
By coupling the fluid with copper-lanthanum trifluoride, the researchers found that it was possible to make an efficient anion-based battery that can be recharged and discharged without the need to turn on the heat.
"We are still in the early stages of development, but this is the first rechargeable fluoride battery that works at room temperature," says Jones.
So, we may need to wait a little longer for weekly phone top-ups, but this is an exciting step – we can not wait for this technology to enter the market.
This research was published in Science .