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Stanford's nanowire battery leapfrogs Li-ion

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
December 19, 2007
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Stanford claims its latest advances in silicon nanowires have it building batteries with 10 times the capacity of existing Li-ion cells. Apparently people have been trying to stuff silicon -- which has a much higher capacity than existing materials -- into a battery for decades, but since it swells when charged with positively charged lithium and shrinks during use, the silicon has a tendency to "pulverize." Who knew batteries could be so dramatic? Oh, right. The advancement at Stanford, led by Yi Cui, builds the battery in the form of silicon nanowires, giving the silicon room to grow and shrink without damage. A patent is being filed, and Yi Cui is already considering forming a company or licensing the tech to a manufacturer.

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