Is there an alternative to nanostructuring electrode materials to speed up ionic diffusion in lithium-ion batteries and so increase their maximum power output and charging rates? Yes, according researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK, who have shown that two complex niobium tungsten oxides can intercalate large amounts of lithium even when the oxides are microns in size. The new work will be important for developing systems that require high power delivery and/or fast charging (think of a mobile phone that could be fully charged in just minutes). It could also have implications for solid-state energy storage for example, in electric cars, and grid-scale storage for solar power.

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