Professor Jin Yuanpei from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea and his team used manganese ferrite (Mn3-xFexO4) nanosheets as the anode material of lithium-ion batteries. By regulating the electron spin, The energy storage capacity and charging speed of the battery are improved. The research results have been published in the journal “Advanced Functional Materials” and selected as the cover article.
Even with the fast charging method, the charging time of electric vehicles usually takes at least 30 minutes. If we could charge electric vehicles as quickly as we can refuel, we could ease the shortage of charging stations.
The efficiency of lithium-ion batteries depends on the ability of the anode material to store lithium ions. Recently, the research team led by Professor Jin Yuanpei developed a new type of anode material. Using a novel self-mixing method, they synthesized manganese ferrite nanosheets with large surface area through a simple displacement reaction process. This new material can store more lithium ions, breaking through its theoretical limit.
In this study, the research team devised a new method to synthesize manganese ferrite nanosheets, a material with both excellent lithium-ion energy storage capacity and good ferromagnetism. First, a displacement reaction was performed in a mixed solution of manganese oxide and iron to form a heterostructure compound with manganese oxide inside and iron oxide outside. Then, the team used a hydrothermal method to prepare manganese ferrite nanosheets with a thickness of only nanometers. This approach takes advantage of highly spin-polarized electrons, significantly improving the ability to store large amounts of lithium ions.
This innovation allowed the team to effectively exceed the theoretical capacity of the manganese ferrite anode material by more than 50 percent. The increased surface area of the anode material allows a large number of lithium ions to move at the same time, increasing the charging speed of the battery. Experimental results show that it takes only 6 minutes to fully charge a battery with a capacity equivalent to that of an electric vehicle currently on the market.
The research simplifies the complex process of preparing anode materials, leading to breakthroughs in improving battery capacity and speeding up charging. Professor Jin Yuanpei, the leader of the research team, said, “We provide a new understanding of how to overcome the electrochemical limitations of conventional anode materials and increase battery capacity by modifying the surface with electron spin.” The development expressed optimism that it could improve battery life and reduce charging times in electric vehicles.
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Communication’s Mid-Term Investigator Program and Advanced Research Center Program, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Performance Enhancement and New Manufacturing Technology Development Program for Next-Generation Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries.
This could be a major breakthrough in the field of lithium-ion battery chemistry. If this technology can be commercialized, it will set a new standard. Even for a small system like a cell phone, a 50% increase in capacity would be a significant change. Also, keeping the same capacity saves lithium usage. A full charge in 6 minutes is even more unheard of, and I hope this technology can be commercialized as soon as possible.