USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers have developed a better-performing and less expensive lithium battery for use in anodes and cathodes. The new design features a silicon anode that is three times more powerful and lasts longer than traditional anodes.
Through testing, the team used porous silicon nanowires to allow volume expansion and retraction to reduce pulverization of the electrode that is a problem when using silicon anodes in lithium-ion batteries. The issue with using nanostructured silicon is that it is very expensive for commercial use. To solve this problem, the team discovered coating the sulfur cathode with a graphene oxide improved the capacity of the cathode over 5 times more than commercial cathodes.