Researchers would like to develop lithium-ion batteries using titanium dioxide, an inexpensive material. But titanium dioxide on its own doesn't perform well enough to replace the expensive, rare-earth metals or fire-prone carbon-based materials used in today's lithium-ion batteries.
To test whether graphene, a good conductor on its own, can help, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Gary Yang and colleagues added graphene, sheets made up of single carbon atoms, to titanium dioxide.
When they compared how well the new combination of electrode materials charged and discharged electric current, the electrodes containing graphene outperformed the standard titanium dioxide by up to three times. Graphene also performed better as an additive than carbon nanotubes.
Yang will discuss this work and provide an overview of the field of electrical storage materials at this year's Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference in Portland, Oregon (see: http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/MNBC/).
This work was supported by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
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