Tiny, disordered particles of magnesium chromium oxide may hold the key to new magnesium battery energy storage technology, which could possess increased capacity compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries, find UCL and University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.
The study, published today in Nanoscale, reports a new, scalable method for making a material that can reversibly store magnesium ions at high-voltage, the defining feature of a cathode.
While it is at an early stage, the researchers say it is a significant development in moving towards magnesium-based batteries. To date, very few inorganic materials have shown reversible magnesium removal and insertion, which is key for the magnesium battery to function.
"Lithium-ion technology is reaching the boundary of its capability, so it's important to look for other chemistries that will allow us to build batterieswitha bigger storage capacity and a slimmer design," said co-lead author, Dr. Ian Johnson (UCL Chemistry).
"Magnesium battery technology has been championed as a possible solution to provide longer-lasting phone and electric car batteries, but getting a practical material to use as a cathode has been a challenge."