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TMCNet:  S. Korean engineers develop technology to make improved lithium batteries

[November 11, 2008]

S. Korean engineers develop technology to make improved lithium batteries

SEOUL, Nov 11, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
South Korean researchers have developed a new technology that makes lithium batteries 90 percent more energy efficient than existing products, a local research team said Monday.

The team led by Cho Jae-phil, an applied chemistry professor at Hanyang University, claimed that the battery life of laptop computers and cellular phones can be extended eight times longer than conventional batteries with the new technology.

The team replaced graphite as the main material of the negative electrode with three-dimensional porous silicon particles made of silica and hydrogen fluoride.

Scientists had already known about silicon as a prospective material to make re-chargeable batteries, but had made no breakthroughs previously because silicon tends to expand when in contact with lithium.

In its findings, published in the latest online issue of the Angewante Chemie journal, the team claimed it was able to overcome that critical shortcoming of silicon with porous particles.

The team has applied for four basic technology patents related to the battery in South Korea, the United States and the European Union, and commercial production could begin in four to five years, said Cho.

He added that work is currently being conducted to merge the technology with solar panels.

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