Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters.

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Drexel researchers have reported that adding nanodiamonds to the electrolyte solution in lithium batteries can prevent the formation of dendrites, the tendril-like deposits of ions that can grow inside a battery over time and cause hazardous malfunctions. (Photo courtesy of Drexel University and Tsinghua University).

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