Self-healing batteries that last much longer

Self-healing, the ability to repair damage spontaneously, is an important survival feature in nature because it increases the lifetime of most living creatures. If electric cars are ever to drive hundreds of miles between charges—to compete with gas-powered cars—their batteries will need to store much more energy.

Cracks formed in a self-healing battery electrode after it’s charged (left) start to seal back up after five hours (right). The electrode, a mixture of silicon microparticles and a self-healing polymer, was imaged using a scanning electron microscope.

Several of the most promising high-capacity battery materials are prone to breaking in ways that would cut an electrified road trip short.

Now researchers at Stanford University have shown that mixing a promising battery material silicon microparticles, with self-healing polymers helps prevent a longer-lasting battery from failing.

They say the self-healing polymers could stabilize other promising but damage-prone battery materials.

via Tech Review

source Nature Chemistry