TechnologyReview reports researchers at Stanford University have created an electrode that can be used to make more energy-dense lithium-sulfur batteries. The technology promises four times the charge of lithium-ion batteries, while being safer in operation as well, but there are still a couple of significant issues that need to be resolved.
By combining the new cathode with the previously developed silicon anode, the team created a battery with an initial discharge of 630 watt-hours per kilogram of active ingredients. This represents an approximately 80 percent increase in the energy density over commercially available lithium-ion batteries, according to Stanford's Cui, who was a coauthor of a paper describing the work published last month in Nano Letters. Further increases in energy density--as much as four times that of lithium-ion batteries--are theoretically achievable by optimizing the battery's electrodes, Cui says.