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Stringed Nano Beads Could Improve Lifespan of Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Charles Murray
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
Charles Murray   3/21/2013 8:46:43 PM
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Definitely true, Liz. I've been writing about this subject since 1988, and the realities have never once matched the promises during that time. Last year, I talked with a battery expert who designed GM's first electric car batteries in the 1970s and also designed fuel cells for NASA's Gemini program in the '60s. I asked him why it's so difficult. His answer: "Each new idea looks really good until you discover all the problems." He believes that developing a new battery chemistry typically takes 20-30 years.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=242424 

Charles Murray
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
Charles Murray   3/21/2013 8:33:52 PM
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Well said, William K. I couldn't agree more. Moore's Law will have nothing to do with this. Developing an EV battery that can compete straight up with gasoline is going to be a long, hard journey.

William K.
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
William K.   3/21/2013 4:00:38 PM
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One other thing, which is that if this discovery is able to deliver on it's promise, the improvement will not be a "Moores Law" sort of thing but instead a potential game changing sort of development. 

Besides that, it certainly does point out the value of continued research in a particular direction with a specific goal in mind.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
Elizabeth M   3/21/2013 5:34:20 AM
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In covering all this research, I can see how true that is, Chuck. I never thought it would be so complicated to improve something we all take so granted and that has been with us for so long, but it seems far more difficult than the average person would imagine. There seems to be a real effort in this area, though, and different research teams working on similar methods to improve batteries...perhaps the competitive spirit will drive them to faster improvements.

Charles Murray
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
Charles Murray   3/20/2013 7:26:53 PM
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Nice story, Liz. This is why research is so critical to the development of battery technology. Improving batteries is (in some ways) similar to curing cancer: It isn't going to happen without some serious research in our universities and national labs.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Stringed Nano Beads???
Elizabeth M   3/20/2013 5:34:39 PM
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Sorry if you feel it's not clear, William, but thanks for reading anyway. Maybe a link to what the university has to say about the technology may help? http://www.nanocenter.umd.edu/news/news_story.php?id=7147

William K.
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Stringed Nano Beads???
William K.   3/20/2013 4:16:16 PM
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This is quite a development and looks like some major progress indeed. But the explanation was a bit lacking in details, which is OK because I may not have understood them even if they had been there.

Now comes the hard part, which is developing things to the point that they can be commercially viable. I hope that they are successful with that part of the project now.

Tcrook
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Re: Battery innovation
Tcrook   3/20/2013 2:08:58 PM
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Thanks Elizabeth.  The only interpretation that made sense to me after reading the full article is that this development made the lifespan better than previous SILICON cathode Li batteries, not the currently used graphite type.  So I think the real improvement is the energy density, not the lifespan compared to current batteries.  Still, 10x the energy is a major breakthrough.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Battery innovation
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2013 1:08:26 PM
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Elizabeth, I think this is a cool application of nanotech: a problem that's not being solved easily in other ways.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Battery innovation
Elizabeth M   3/20/2013 12:45:58 PM
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In my understanding, Tcrook, it is the lifespan (the number of charging cycles) but I think other research has been able to increase energy density as well. Here is the link to the release about this news so perhaps that could tell you more: http://www.nanocenter.umd.edu/news/news_story.php?id=7147

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