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Lithium ion batteries are a useful and powerful energy storage option. Commonly used in products ranging from portable electronics to hybrid and electric cars, these batteries show high overall stability and are low maintenance. Lithium ion batteries also display higher charge storage densities and voltages and consistently out-perform typical lead-acid batteries, as the small lithium-ions can pack densely into the anode material.

To further improve battery performance, researchers Chongyin Yang and Ji Chen with co-workers under the direction of Chunsheng Wang at University of Maryland developed a novel graphite lithium ion battery that utilizes high density helper ion packing and a unique water-in-salt electrolyte to achieve a potential of over 4 volts in aqueous batteries. The aqueous nature of their battery is also an advantage, because as the researchers highlight in their report, the intercalation of the helper ions within a water environment “comes with intrinsic safety and environment insensitivity.”

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Category: Science