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For Better Batteries, Mind the Band-Gap

Notice the advancing white line (L-R) in the time sequence of transmission electron microscope images above. This line illustrates the use of band-gap and interface engineering to control how and where lithium (Li) ions diffuse into a silicon-coated germanium nanowire. Creating chemical potential barriers for Li ions, the equivalent of energy barriers for electrons and holes, can control their diffusion (lithiation) at nanoscale dimensions and could lead to new electrode architectures that produce better performing lithium-ion batteries. This work involved a collaboration between electrical engineering professor Shadi Dayeh and colleagues from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and UC San Diego. Watch the video:

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