History of Lithium Ion Batteries

History of Lithium Ion Batteries

Many people use the 18650 battery for a number of their electronic devices. These 18650 battery cells are known for their long lasting performance and their safety mechanisms which ensure that the device will function properly. Many leading brands are making these batteries for consumers like the Sanyo 18650 battery and Energizer 18650 battery all of which are actually what they call Lithium ion batteries. These Lithium Ion batteries have been providing rechargeable power to electronic devices for a long time now but when did they really come about and what is the history of these batteries?

The first person to have come up with the concept of these Lithium ion batteries was M.S. Whittingham from the Binghamton University, Exxon. He used a titanium sulfide and lithium to power a battery he devised in the 1970s. The use of metallic lithium worked fine for the batteries as far as power was concerned but they posed certain safety issues and concerns and could not be made commercially unless some safer solution was found.

This is why when some experimentation was done with the help of the intercalation technique using lithium’s electrochemical properties and graphite in 1980 by Rachid Yazami who worked with the French National Center for Scientific Research and Grenoble Institute of Technology and published a work in a year or two which indicated that lithium intercalation in graphite was indeed a reversible reaction and could be used in the making of rechargeable lithium batteries. In addition to this the use of lithium metal was also restricted and some other form of lithium containing lithium ions was used.

This went on until the Sony brand released the first lithium ion battery on a commercial scale. People took to these batteries instantly and many electronic devices were powered now with the help of these rechargeable batteries. These cells worked on the principle of layered oxide chemistry and used lithium cobalt oxide as a substitute of previously used lithium metal. Many more researches were done by many people in the need to develop more cost effective and safe alternatives to the lithium cobalt oxide and among the many materials developed were the lithium iron phosphate and many other phosphor-olivines were developed in 1996 by the scientists Akshaya Padhi and John Goodenough who worked with their teams to develop better ways to advance the lithium battery technology.

Stability, safety, cost and performance are the few major aspects of developing this battery further. Lithium ion batteries so far have become quite popular for their safety mechanisms and long lasting durability and reliability in terms of performance. Portable devices like power tools and laptops are being fitted with these batteries for a reliable upkeep. Even electric automobiles and many other serious industries are employing these rechargeable lithium batteries as their power source because it is a stable and effective method that they can rely on. More improvement was made in 2004 when the MIT researcher Yet-Ming Chiang utilized iron phosphate in the lithium battery which has very small particles of 100nm diameter. This way the performance of the battery was improved even further and it had more capacity as well.

Source: Ezine Articles – Daniel Delaney

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