Ishikawa, Japan -- As the electric vehicle (EV) industry is advancing, so are the efforts in the research and development of superior lithium (Li)-ion batteries to power these vehicles. Exploring and expanding rapid charge-discharge technology and extended battery life are critical challenges in their development. A few factors, such as the diffusion of Li ions, characteristics of the electrode-electrolyte interface, and electrode porosity, can help overcome these issues achieve extreme fast charging and ultralong life.
In recent years, two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, which are thin sheet-like structures with a thickness of a few nanometers, have emerged as potential anode materials for Li-ion batteries. These nanosheets possess a high aspect ratio and high density of active sites, which enables fast charging and superior cycling performance. In particular, 2D nanomaterials based on transition-metal diborides (or TMDs) have piqued the interest of researchers. TMDs have been found to have a high rate and long cycling stability for Li ion storage, owing to their honeycomb planes of boron and multivalent transition-metal atoms.
Recently, a group of scientists led by Prof. Noriyoshi Matsumi from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) and Prof. Kabeer Jasuja from the Indian Institite of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar set out to further explore the potential of TMDs for energy storage. The team conducted the first experimental study on the storage potential of titanium diboride (TiB2)-based hierarchical nanosheets (THNS) as an anode material for Li-ion batteries. The team comprised Rajashekar Badam, former Senior Lecturer at JAIST; Akash Varma, former M.S. Course Student at JAIST; Koichi Higashimine, Technical Specialist at JAIST and Asha Liza James, Ph.D. Student at IIT Gandhinagar. Their study was published in ACS Applied Nano Materials and made available online on September 19, 2022.
The THNS were developed by oxidizing TiB2 powder with hydrogen peroxide, followed by centrifuging and freeze-drying the solution. “What makes our work stand out is the scalability of the method developed for synthesizing these TiB2 nanosheets. For any nanomaterial to translate into a tangible technology, scalability is the limiting factor. Our synthesis method only requires stirring and no sophisticated equipment. This is on account of the dissolution and recrystallization behavior exhibited by TiB2, a serendipitous discovery that makes this work a promising bridge from lab to the field,” explains Prof. Kabeer.
Thereafter, the team constructed an anodic Li-ion half-cell using the THNS as active anode material. The team studied the charge-storage characteristics of the THNS-based anodes.
The team found that the THNS-based anode showed a high discharge capacity of 380 mAh/g with a current density of just 0.025 A/g. Furthermore, they saw that a discharge capacity of 174 mAh/g could be obtained for a high current density of 1 A/g, with a charge time of 10 min and a capacity retention of 89.7% after 1,000 cycles. Additionally, the THNS-based Li-ion anode could sustain very high current rates, in the order of 15 to 20 A/g facilitating ultrafast charging in about 9 to 14 seconds. Under the high current rate, with a capacity retention greater than 80% was observed after 10,000 cycles.
The results of this study indicate the suitability of the 2D TiB2 nanosheets as a candidate for fast-charging and long-life Li-ion batteries. They also highlight the advantage of nano-scaling bulk materials, like TiB2, to attain promising properties, including pseudocapacitive charge storage, excellent high-rate capability, and superior cyclability. Explaining the potential long-term effects of their research, Prof. Matsumi says, “Such quick-charging technology can accelerate the diffusion of EVs and significantly decrease waiting times for charging various mobile electronic devices. We hope our findings can stimulate more research in this field, which can eventually lead to the convenience of EV users, lesser air pollution in cities, and less stressful mobile life in order to enhance the productivity of our society.”
Here’s hoping that we soon see this remarkable technology being used in EVs and other electronic devices.
Title of original paper:
Titanium Diboride-Based Hierarchical Nanosheets as Anode Material
for Li-Ion Batteries
ACS Applied Nano Materials
About Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Founded in 1990 in Ishikawa prefecture, the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) was the first independent national graduate school in Japan. Now, after 30 years of steady progress, JAIST has become one of Japan’s top-ranking universities. JAIST counts with multiple satellite campuses and strives to foster capable leaders with a state-of-the-art education system where diversity is key; about 40% of its alumni are international students. The university has a unique style of graduate education based on a carefully designed coursework-oriented curriculum to ensure that its students have a solid foundation on which to carry out cutting-edge research. JAIST also works closely both with local and overseas communities by promoting industry–academia collaborative research.
About Dr. Noriyoshi Matsumi, Professor, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Dr. Matsumi is currently a Professor in the School of Materials Science at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Polymer Bulletin. Prof. Matsumi obtained his Ph.D. from Kyoto University. Since 2010, he has been running the Matsumi Lab, which works on the creation of energy-related materials. His interests lie in lithium-ion batteries, polymer electrolytes, electrocatalysts, and ionic liquids. He has over 100 publications credited to him and 3130 citations to his name.
About Dr. Kabeer Jasuja, Dr. Dinesh O. Shah Chair Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India
Dr. Kabeer Jasuja is currently an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Chemical Engineering. He began his academic career at IIT Gandhinagar in 2012. He received his B.Tech. degree from IIT Kharagpur in 2007 and Ph.D. degree from Kansas State University in 2011. After his Ph.D., he also worked as a Post-doctoral research fellow at the Northwestern University till 2012.
His research group at IIT Gandhinagar has discovered a new family of boron rich nanomaterials. For discovering this new family of nanomaterials, Kabeer received the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) Young Engineer Award in 2018, and in 2019 he was selected as an Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS). He is also a recipient of the INSPIRE faculty award. He serves as an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). In 2021, he was selected for Dr. Dinesh O. Shah Chair position in Surface Science and Nanotechnology.
This work is supported by seed funding from IIT Gandhinagar, INSPIRE Faculty Award Research Grant (DST/INSPIRE/04/2014/001601), Core Research Grant (EMR/2017/000730) by the Department of Science India. The authors are also thankful for funding from the Armament Research board (ARMREB/CDSW/2019/219) and funding provided by Dr. Dinesh O Shah Chair Fellowship.
ACS Applied Nano Materials
Titanium Diboride-Based Hierarchical Nanosheets as Anode Material for Li-Ion Batteries
Article Publication Date