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Current issue

ELEKTRO 7/2018 was released on June 27th 2018. Its digital version will be available on July 27th 2018.

Topic: Cables, conductors and cable engineering; Tools, equipment and accessories for work with cables

Main Article
Parametrization of circuit models of Li-accumulators for electromobility
Smart Cities (part 3 – volume 1)

SVĚTLO (Light) 4/2018 was released on July 30th 2018. Its digital version will be available on August 31th 2018.

Refreshing our memory
Eccentric luminaires of René Roubíček from the years1965 till 1977
Bases of photometry – 1st part
Great personage of Czech science of times after Battle at Bílá hora: doctor, naturalist, philosopher and physicist Jan Marek Marci from Kronland

Optical radiation effects and use
The light and circadian rhythms

Quantum dots made from fool’s gold boost battery performance

12.11.2015 | Vanderbilt University | news.vanderbilt.edu

If you add quantum dots – nanocrystals 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair – to a smartphone battery it will charge in 30 seconds, but the effect only lasts for a few recharge cycles.

However, a group of researchers at Vanderbilt University report in the November issue of the journal ACS Nano that they have found a way to overcome this problem: Making the quantum dots out of iron pyrite, commonly known as fool’s gold, can produce batteries that charge quickly and work for dozens of cycles.

Nanotechnology is helping boost the battery performance

The research team headed by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cary Pint and led by graduate student Anna Douglas became interested in iron pyrite because it is one of the most abundant materials in the earth’s surface. It is produced in raw form as a byproduct of coal production and is so cheap that it is used in lithium batteries that are bought in the store and thrown away after a single use.

When the particles get very small, generally meaning below 10 nanometers (40 to 50 atoms wide), the nanoparticles begin to chemically react with the electrolytes and so can only charge and discharge a few times. So this size regime is forbidden In commercial lithium-ion batteries.

Aided by Douglas’ expertise in synthesizing nanoparticles, the team set out to explore this “ultrasmall” regime. They did so by adding millions of iron pyrite quantum dots of different sizes to standard lithium button batteries like those that are used to power watches, automobile key remotes and LED flashlights. They got the most bang for their buck when they added ultrasmall nanocrystals that were about 4.5 nanometers in size. These substantially improved both the batteries’ cycling and rate capabilities.

Read more at Vanderbilt University

Image Credit: Vanderbilt University

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