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Development of silicon batteries for spacecraft

Silicon battery with nanostructured silicon is sandwiched between nano carbon, increasing storage capacity by 10 times, maintaining bond after 500 cycles of operation.

The Clemson University team (USA) has developed a new battery from silicon, with the advantages of fast, light charging, providing power for space travel, satellites and Mars probes.

Scientist Ramakrishna Podila, a member of the research team, said that most satellites mainly get energy from the sun to operate, but satellites must also have batteries to store energy when operating in dark areas. Earth. Aiming for a lightweight, long-lasting space device battery will reduce the cost of the space mission.

Shailendra Chiluwal, Head of Research Team is making silicon batteries in the lab. Photo: Clemson University.

Silicon can store strong electricity, using silicon material for anodes instead of coal and lead, increasing storage capacity by 10 times. However, during electrical discharge, silicon tends to expand, contract and break into small pieces, affecting the anode and easily damaging the battery.

So to increase the durability of silicon batteries, the team improved the material into silicon nanoparticles with a size of about 30 micrometres. Then, silicon fibers are sandwiched between a layer of nano carbon that is 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. “These nano layers form a 3D structure, which maintains the bond between silicon nanoparticles after 500 cycles of operation, thereby increasing the battery life,” said Shailendra Chiluwal, lead researcher, with the In this architecture, the silicon battery can maintain its function even when the battery is discharged, and the silicon nanoparticles are broken.

Using nano carbon to create a buffering mechanism allows the battery to increase its charging capacity at four times the rate of conventional batteries. In addition to use in electric vehicles, electric cars, silicon batteries used in the energy systems of astronauts and Mars explorers, the researchers said.

The team is working with industry partners to put this technology into practice. The study was published in the American Chemical Society journal.

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