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Harnessing geometric frustration to tune batteries for greater power

Date:
May 10, 2017
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
A new generation of higher-powered batteries for phones and cameras could result from ground-breaking research.
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A new generation of higher-powered batteries for phones and cameras could result from ground-breaking research led by scientists at the University of Kent.

Researchers from the University's School of Physical Sciences (SPS), working with scientists from other European institutions, formulated a recipe to increase the rate at which a solid material -- an artificial mineral -- can conduct charge.

The team found that a phenomenon known as geometric frustration can be used in this process to increase the charge transport rate in the solid material in a way that is comparable with heating that material.

Making use of this phenomenon, the team was able to 'tune' materials to be used in future batteries and fuel cells to speed up ionic conductivity.

Lead researcher Dr Dean Sayle and his team in SPS found that geometric frustration broke up the regimented formation of atoms in the material, leading to a more disordered pattern. This disordered pattern allowed the charge to pass through the material at a much higher rate.

Dr Sayle said: 'Disorder can be created by geometric frustration which might be understood as randomly giving two kinds of differently sized umbrellas to a regimented parade of people and telling them to put them up and come as close together as the size of the umbrellas allow.

'Naturally, this will lead to a destruction of the former formation towards a disordered formation exhibiting a large number of gaps. Similarly, we used geometric frustration to make the atoms disordered by mixing two differently sized atoms together which increased charge transport by 100,000'.

As well as more powerful batteries, the new technique may lead to the development of new energy materials with zero- emissions.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andre Düvel, Paul Heitjans, Pavel Fedorov, Gudrun Scholz, Giannantonio Cibin, Alan V. Chadwick, David M. Pickup, Silvia Ramos, Lewis W. L. Sayle, Emma K. L. Sayle, Thi X. T. Sayle, Dean C. Sayle. Is Geometric Frustration-Induced Disorder a Recipe for High Ionic Conductivity? Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017; 139 (16): 5842 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b00502

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Harnessing geometric frustration to tune batteries for greater power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170510115245.htm>.
University of Kent. (2017, May 10). Harnessing geometric frustration to tune batteries for greater power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170510115245.htm
University of Kent. "Harnessing geometric frustration to tune batteries for greater power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170510115245.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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