New Lithium Ion Battery Design Inspired by a Pomegranate

Stanford researchers are using the seeds of a pomegranate as inspiration to cluster tiny silicon particles in hard carbon rinds to design the next generation of lithium ion batteries.

Silicon is one of the materials that scientists have wanted to use in the anode of a lithium ion battery because it could be a smaller, lighter and more energy dense battery, rather than graphite which is traditionally used in batteries. One downside of using silicon, it can degrade and break down over time during the charging and decharging process. The team has found that using a hard carbon rind around the silicon protects the silicon from reacting with the electrolyte but also permits electrical current.  The pomegranate design has performed in experiments to hold up to 97% capacity after 1000 cycles.

Read more about how this new concept be used in commercial applications like cell phones, tablets or electric vehicles.