If it can be scaled up, a new type of nanomaterial—referred to as "nanoscoops"—could charge electric vehicles 40 to 60 times as fast.
For all their promise, electric vehicles still face a perception problem. Not only do they have to overcome the (possibly overhyped) question of range anxiety, but there's also the issue of charge time. However, Inhabitat reports that a new type of nanomaterial—you have to love anything with a "nano" prefix—could help charge electric vehicles 40 to 60 times faster than current rates.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have developed a new type of material made from “nanoscoops”, which can increase the charging speed of small lithium-ion batteries by 40-60 times. Previously the anodes in lithium ion batteries — lithium ion molecules which travel between anodes and cathodes to create a charge — would become stressed, swell, and wear out if charged quickly, so batteries were designed to charge at a snail’s pace. Nanoscoops are specifically designed to withstand the stress of a quick charge and won’t swell under the pressure. If scaled up, this technology could mean less waiting around to charge for the owners of electric vehicles.
As you might expect, the application for this nanomaterial—pictured, and referred to as "nanoscoops"—is a few years off. So far, it's only been tested on batteries the size of a coin and would need to be scaled up significantly, but researchers are optimistic.
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