For batteries, one material does it all

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2015-05-06 00:00:00

Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a battery that is made entirely out of one material, which can both move electricity and store it.


The new material consists of a mix of sulfur, germanium, phosphorus and lithium. This compound is used as the ion-moving electrolyte. At each end, the scientists added carbon to this electrolyte to form electrodes that push the ions back and forth through the electrolyte as the battery charges and discharges. Like a little bit more sugar added at each end of a cookie-cream mixture, the carbon merely helps draw the electricity from side to side through the material.


Though the battery is extremely easy to make – a powder compressed in a plastic and steel cylinder – it is still at the proof-of-concept stage. They are still testing how many times it can charge and discharge electricity to see if it is a real candidate for manufacturing.

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