Scientists inch along through research to electrolyte-free storage battery | North West, Technology & innovation

North West | Technology & innovation

Scientists inch along through research to electrolyte-free storage battery

7 Mar '17
Scientists at the St. Petersburg Peter the Great Polytechnic University in collaboration with French, Swiss and Polish colleagues have unveiled a discovery which they believe is a major first step towards the development of electrolyte-free storage batteries.

The scientists have published an article about the research in English in Scientific Reports.

In their experiments, the researchers are said to have come across “unexpected phenomena” in the crystal lattice of antiferroelectric lead zirconate. When impacted by external factors, the lead zirconate crystals were found to offer two different types of lattice formation. The material’s functional properties hinge on which of the two to choose.

The scientists discovered two new crystal phases at high temperatures and under high pressure. Conditions found in the experiment are reported to be very close to those believed to be created in next gen power storage systems, in which energy is stored and released through a switch between the crystal phases of different structure. Such structural transition is believed to release considerable amounts of energy within very short time intervals, and no-electrolyte design offers obvious advantages such as simplicity in integration and a decrease in the number of power-storing cells.