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New battery technology employs multifunctional materials

March 24, 2014--Lithium-ion batteries power a vast array of modern devices, from cell phones, laptops, and laser pointers to thermometers, hearing aids, and pacemakers.

The electrodes in these batteries typically comprise three components: active materials, conductive additives, and binders.

Now, a team of researchers at the University of Delaware has discovered a “sticky” conductive material that may eliminate the need for binders.

“The problem with the current technology is that the binders impair the electrochemical performance of the battery because of their insulating properties,” says Bingqing Wei, professor of mechanical engineering. “Furthermore, the organic solvents used to mix the binders and conductive materials together not only add to the expense of the final product, but also are toxic to humans.”

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