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Your questions answered: Li-ion batteries

In this blog post, we answer common questions about Li-ion batteries, including what they are, why they’re so useful and the materials used to create them.

What are Li-ion batteries?

A Lithium-ion battery, also known as a Li-ion battery, is a type of rechargeable battery used in a wide variety of electronic applications – from laptops and mobile phones, to medical equipment and electronic tools.

These types of batteries emerged in the 1990s. Previously, Nickel-Cadmium was the main type of battery used in portable electronics.

Li-ion batteries are still evolving, thanks to continuous innovation available in materials science.

What makes them different to other batteries?

The main point of difference is that Li-ion batteries are rechargeable, whereas most other standard batteries are not.

When you compare them to other rechargeable options, these batteries tend to have a higher energy density – meaning they can store more energy than alternatives.

What are the advantages of Li-ion batteries?

Advantages of the Lithium-ion battery include:

  • A high energy density
  • The ability to handle lots of recharging
  • The battery does not have to be completely drained before recharging (otherwise known as having no memory effect)
  • They are much lighter than other rechargeable options

As with any technology, these batteries have their disadvantages too, such as being expensive and sensitivity to high temperatures. That being said, in comparison to alternatives, these drawbacks are considered to be minor.

How are Li-ion batteries made?

The main components of Lithium-ion batteries are a cathode (positive electrode), an anode (negative electrode) and an electrolyte (used as a conductor) with a charge-discharge cycle.

Different chemical compounds can be used for each of these elements. For example, Goodfellow has recently launched new materials for each:

  • Cathode materials: Lithium Cobalt Oxide, Lithium Manganese Oxide and Lithium Nickel Manganese Oxide
  • Anode materials: Lithium Titanium Oxide
  • Solid electrolytes: Lithium Lanthanum Zirconium Oxide and Lithium Orthosilicate

For more information on Li-ion batteries and the materials used in their creation and innovation, please contact the Goodfellow technical team.