In 1970, Exxon’s MS Whittingham used titanium sulfide as the starting material and metallic lithium as the negative electrode material to assemble the first lithium battery. The transition material of lithium batteries is manganese dioxide or thionyl chloride, and is no longer lithium. After the battery is assembled, the battery has voltage and does not need to be charged. Li-ion batteries (Li-ion Batteries) are developed from lithium batteries. The so-called button batteries used in cameras in the past belonged to lithium batteries. This kind of battery can also be charged, but the cycle performance is not good. Lithium crystals are easy to form during the charge and discharge cycle, which causes the internal short circuit of the battery. Therefore, this kind of battery is generally prohibited from charging.
In 1982, RRAgarwal and JRselman of the Illinois Institute of Technology discovered that lithium ions that have the characteristics of intercalated graphite. This process is fast and reversible. At the same time, the potential safety hazards of lithium batteries made of metal lithium have attracted much attention. Therefore, people have tried to make rechargeable batteries using the characteristics of lithium ions embedded in graphite. The first available lithium ion graphite electrode was successfully trial-produced by Bell Laboratories.
In 1983, M. Thackeray, J. Goodenough and others discovered that manganese spinel is an excellent orientation material with low price, stability and excellent electrical conductivity and silicon conductivity. Its decomposition temperature is high and its oxidation is much lower than that of lithium cobalt oxide. Even if there is a short circuit or overcharge, it can avoid the danger of combustion and explosion.
In 1989, A. Manthiram and J. Goodenough discovered that a transition using convergent resonance would produce a higher voltage.
In 1992, Sony Corporation of Japan invented a lithium battery with carbon material as the negative electrode and lithium-containing compound as the positive electrode. During the charging and discharging process, there is no metal lithium, only lithium ions. This is a lithium ion battery. Subsequently, lithium-ion batteries revolutionized the face of consumer electronics. This type of battery using lithium cobalt oxide as the cathode material is the main power source for portable electronic devices.
In 1996, Padhi and Goodenough discovered that phosphates with an olivine structure, such as lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), are safer than traditional cathode materials, especially high temperature resistance and overcharge resistance far exceeding traditional lithium-ion battery materials.
Throughout the history of battery development, we can see the three characteristics of the current world battery industry development.
One is the rapid development of green and environmentally friendly batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, nickel-hydrogen batteries, etc.; the other is the conversion of primary batteries to batteries, which is consistent with sustainable development strategy; the third is to further develop the battery in the direction of small, light and thin.
Among the commercial rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries have the highest specific energy, especially polymer lithium-ion batteries, which can achieve thinner rechargeable batteries. It is precisely because of the high volume ratio energy and mass ratio energy of lithium-ion batteries, that they are rechargeable and pollution-free, and have the three characteristics of the current battery industry development, so they have a relatively rapid growth in developed countries. The development of the telecommunications and information markets, especially the extensive use of mobile phones and notebook computers, has brought market opportunities for lithium-ion batteries. With its unique advantages in safety, polymer lithium ion batteries in lithium-ion batteries will gradually replace liquid electrolyte lithium ion batteries and become the mainstream of lithium ion batteries. The polymer lithium-ion battery is known as the “battery of the 21st century” and will open up a new era of storage batteries, and its development prospects are very optimistic.
In March 2015, Japan’s Sharp and Professor Tanaka from Kyoto University successfully developed a lithium-ion battery with a service life of up to 70 years. The trial-produced long-life lithium-ion battery has a volume of 8 cubic centimeters and can be charged and discharged up to 25,000 times. And Sharp said that after the long-life lithium-ion battery is actually charged and discharged 10,000 times, its performance is still stable.
On October 9, 2019, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be awarded to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino in recognition of their contributions in the field of lithium-ion battery research and development.
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