Lithium-ion batteries began to run wildly, approaching power batteries

by:CTECHi     2021-07-08

In 1800, the Italian physicist Alessandro Volt invented the first battery in human history-the Volt pile. This initial battery made of zinc sheets (anode) and copper sheets (cathode) and paper sheets (electrolyte) soaked in salt water proves the possibility of artificial manufacture of electricity.

Since then, as a device that can provide continuous and stable current, batteries have undergone more than 200 years of development, and continue to meet people's needs for flexible use of electricity.

In recent years, with the huge demand for the use of renewable energy and the increasing concern about environmental pollution, secondary batteries represented by lithium batteries (rechargeable batteries or Battery)-This energy storage technology that can convert other forms of energy into electrical energy and store it in the form of chemical energy in advance continues to innovate the energy system.

The growth of lithium batteries shows the progress of society from another side. In fact, whether it is mobile phones, computers, cameras, or electric vehicles, the rapid development is based on the maturity of lithium battery technology.

Chen Gen: The birth and anxiety of lithium batteries, approaching power batteries

The birth of lithium batteries

The battery has positive and negative poles. The positive electrode is also the cathode, which is usually made of more stable materials, while the negative electrode is the anode, which is usually made of 'higher activity' metal materials. The positive and negative electrodes are separated by an electrolyte, and electrical energy is stored in the two electrodes in the form of chemical energy.

The chemical reaction that occurs between the two poles produces ions and electrons. The ions are transferred inside the battery and force the electrons to pass outside the battery to form a loop, thereby generating electricity.

In the 1970s, the oil crisis broke out in the United States, coupled with the new requirements for power supplies in the military, aviation, medicine and other fields, promoting rechargeable batteries to store renewable and clean Energy exploration.

In all metals, the specific gravity of lithium is extremely small and the electrode potential is extremely low. In other words, in theory, the lithium battery system can obtain the maximum energy density. Therefore, lithium has naturally entered the vision of battery designers.

However, due to the high activity of lithium, it may react violently when encountering water or air, causing combustion and explosion. Therefore, how to 'tame' lithium has become the key to battery development. The essential. In addition, lithium easily reacts with water at room temperature. If lithium metal is to be used in the battery system, the introduction of non-aqueous electrolyte is very critical.

In 1958, Harris proposed the use of organic electrolytes as the electrolyte for metal galvanic batteries. In 1962, from the US military Lockheed Missile and SpaceCo. ChiltonJr. And Cook put forward the idea of u200bu200b'lithium non-aqueous electrolyte system'.

Chilton and Cook designed a new type of battery that uses lithium metal as the negative electrode, Ag, Cu, Ni and other halides as the positive electrode, and the low melting point metal salt LiC1-AlCl3 is dissolved in Used as electrolyte in propylene carbonate. Although the many problems of the battery made it remain conceptual and failed to realize commercialization, the work of Chilton and Cook opened the prelude to the research of lithium batteries.

In 1970, Japan's Matsushita Electric Company and the US military independently synthesized a new type of cathode material-carbon fluoride almost simultaneously. Matsushita Electric successfully prepared a crystalline carbon fluoride with the molecular expression (CFx)n (0.5≤x≤1) and used it as the positive electrode of a lithium primary battery. The invention of lithium fluoride primary battery is an important step in the history of lithium battery development. For the first time, 'intercalation compound' was introduced into the design of lithium battery.

However, in order to realize the reversible charge and discharge of lithium batteries, the key lies in the reversibility of chemical reactions. At that time, most non-rechargeable batteries used lithium negative electrodes and organic electrolytes. Therefore, in order to realize rechargeable batteries, scientists began to work on reversibly intercalating lithium ions into the layered transition metal sulfide positive electrode.

Stanley Whittingham of ExxonMobil found that using layered TiS2 as the cathode material to measure the intercalation chemistry can achieve reversible charge and discharge, and the discharge product is LiTiS2.

In 1976, the battery developed by Whittingham achieved good primary efficiency. However, after repeated charging and discharging several times, because lithium dendrites are formed inside the battery, the dendrites grow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode, forming a short circuit, causing the risk of igniting the electrolyte and ultimately failing.

In addition, in 1989, due to a fire accident in Li/Mo2 secondary batteries, with the exception of a few companies, most companies withdrew from the development of lithium metal secondary batteries. Because of unsolvable safety issues, the development of lithium metal secondary batteries has basically stopped.

In view of the ineffectiveness of various improvements, research on lithium metal secondary batteries has stalled. In the end, the researchers chose a subversive solution, that is, a rocking chair battery, where the positive and negative electrodes of the lithium secondary battery are all served by intercalation compounds.

In the 1980s, Goodenough was studying the structure of layered LiCoO2 and LiNiO2 cathode materials at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. In the end, the researchers achieved reversible deintercalation of more than half of the lithium from the cathode material. This achievement finally gave birth to the birth of lithium-ion batteries.

In 1991, Sony introduced the first commercial lithium-ion battery (anode is graphite, cathode is lithium compound, electrode solution is lithium salt dissolved in organic solvent). Due to the characteristics of high energy density and different formulations of lithium batteries that can adapt to different use environments, lithium batteries are finally commercialized and widely used in the market.

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