Is Indium the Way to Go for the Next Wave of Efficient Battery Storage?
As researchers search for the next best wave of a battery to replace the lithium-ion ones that we’ve all become to rely on but have outlived their performance capabilities, they’ve stumbled upon indium. Indium is not a new find but is one that’s rarely been explored when it comes to batteries, but perhaps it should have been. This metal is soft and malleable and may be perfect for providing us with the more powerful, longer-lasting batteries that we need.
According to a recent study by American scientists, coating lithium electrodes in indium hinders the bad side reactions of electrode and electrolyte meetings, allows a more stable deposition of lithium while charging, and increases storage capacity in the lithium adobe by fusing the reactions between indium and lithium.
Most modern lithium-ion batteries in use today use graphite anodes to store the lithium when the batteries are charged. An alternative that’s been suggested is using batteries that have metallic anodes instead, made up of lithium for example. These would provide a much higher capacity for energy storage. However, it’s not that easy. Because of the uneven deposition of metal during the charging process, dendrites form which can cause the battery to short-circuit. The side-reactions that occur between the electrodes and electrolyte in the reactive metal also causes problems and reduces the overall lifetime of the batteries.