C/Ti compound enables intercalation of Na-ions for batteries

27th April 2015
Barney Scott

Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, which power most portable electronics today, include precious elements such as lithium and cobalt. As a potential alternative to Li-ion batteries, Sodium ion (Na-ion) batteries have attracted much attention because of the abundance and low-cost of uniformly-distributed sodium.

However, in order to realise a sodium-ion battery, a pair of compounds capable of intercalation (absorbing and releasing) of sodium ions is required for each of the negative and positive electrodes. In particular, development of a high-performance negative electrode is indispensable.

A University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Chemical System Engineering research group, led by Professor Atsuo Yamada and Associate Professor Masashi Okubo, in collaboration with the research group of Professor Isamu Moriguchi at Nagasaki University Graduate School of Engineering, has clarified that a nanosheet compound comprising titanium and carbon is capable of sodium-ion intercalation.

A prototype full cell with this nanosheet compound as a negative electrode in combination with an existing positive electrode material exhibited high-charge/discharge-rate capability, high capacity, and long cycle life, all of which are prerequisites for next-gen battery technology.

Part of this research was financially supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), under the Elemental Strategy Initiative for Catalysis and Batteries (ESICB; Principle researcher: Professor Yasuhiro Tanaka, Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering).

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