Thought for the month

“You cannot have freedom without a rule of law ... and if you don't have it, what you tend to get is corruption and that is death to freedom, it's death to truth, it's death to honour, it's death to democracy.”

Margaret Thatcher, 1 October 1996.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Real time X-rays - to probe Li-S battery degradation

Continuing the theme of Li-ion batteries, a team at Standford University have been investigating lithium - sulphur batteries as a alternative. Most electric cars use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These account for more than half of the vehicle's total cost. An alternative is the lithium-sulphur battery, which can potentially store five times more energy at a much lower cost. A major drawback with this technology is that after a few dozen cycles of charging and discharging, the battery stops working. Using X-ray diffraction and transmission X-ray microscopy in real time the group are unravelling the complex formation of polysulphides that form at the electrodes and leaking into the electrolyte limit the battery cycle life.

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