An international research team has discovered that sodium stacked in a very specific way could be used for producing superior battery technology. The team says sodium batteries would be significantly cheaper than lithium batteries, with equal or superior functionality.
The development of Lithium batteries revolutionized electronics, allowing batteries to become smaller and smaller while continually improving their energy storage capacity. Lithium is an expensive metal, however, with a finite supply, and it’s not easily replaceable with other materials without losing key functionality.
The German-Russian team of scientists found that “stacking” sodium atoms inside the sample causes alkali metals other than lithium to react with higher energy intensity, positioning sodium as a potential replacement for lithium down the line.
“For a long time, it was believed that lithium atoms in batteries can only be located in one layer, otherwise the system will be unstable. Despite this, recent experiments by our German colleagues have shown that with careful selection of methods, it is possible to create multilayer stable lithium structures between graphene layers. This opens up broad prospects for increasing the capacity of such structures,” said Ilya Chepkasov, researcher at NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials.