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December, 2016

In a new lithium-sulphur battery, which takes its inspiration in part from the cells lining the human intestine, a layer of material with a villi-like structure, made from tiny zinc oxide wires, is placed on the surface of one of the battery’s electrodes. This can trap fragments of the active material when they break off, keeping them electrochemically accessible and allowing the material to be reused. The batteries, if commercially developed, would have five times the energy density of the lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and other electronics. The results are reported in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Figure: A brush-like ZnO interlayer that can trap polysulphides in a Li-S battery.

T. Zhao, X. Peng, G. Divitini, H. K. Kim, C. Lao, P. R Coxon, K. Xi, Y. Liu, C. Ducati, R. V. Kumar, "Advanced Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Enabled by a Bio-Inspired Polysulfide Adsorptive Brush", Advanced Functional Materials (2016).

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