The chemists of St Petersburg University have synthesized a new material to make lithium-ion batteries that are used in most communication devices. It ensures speed charge, more power, and safety.

The innovation is part of the project “Nanocomposite energy-storing materials based on the intercalate oxides of the transitions metals and poly 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene” that is supported by the RFBR’s grant. The study is published in Electrochimica Acta, Material Letters, J.Solid State Electrochemistry.

The electrical and chemical source of energy – lithium-ion batteries — are used in a wide variety of gadgets: laptops, smartphones, readers, and so on. They are universal sources of energy as they transform chemical energy into electrical energy.

maket batarei kondratev

A model of lithium-ion battery

The materials of the lithium-ion batteries comprise a number of elements, including a binding agent that mechanically integrates the elements and secures electrical conductivity. The properties of the binding agent are important for transporting the charge between the electrically active grains. The new material ensures increased electrical and ion conductivity and therefore higher speed of charge.

“We have synthesized a new biding agent for the electrode that is a hybrid that ensures more rapid electrical and ion transportation. It is supposed to improve mechanical properties of the material and ensure more reliable electrical connection between the active grains”, — said the director of the projects, SPbU Professor and Doctor of Chemistry Veniamin Kondratiev.

The new polymer ensures new additional charge-discharge properties of the composite material to increase its volume. All these will result in speed charge and long-life performance. The material is safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.

“Incorporating the conducting polymer into the cathode material can ensure more efficient performance. Now we are searching for a balance between carbon black, conducting and binding polymers and examining restrictions concerning the usage of the conducting polymer”, — said Prof Kondratiev.