Nano batteries are batteries which are manufactured using the nanoscale technologies, which have particles that measure less than 100 nanometers (equals 10−7 meters). The nano batteries may be of a nano or may use the nanotechnology in a normal scale battery. Nanoscale batteries can also be combined together to operate as a macro battery like in the nanopore battery.
Operation of a battery
The battery can convert chemical energy to electrical energy and generally it is composed of three general parts : an Anode which is a positive electrode, a Cathode which is a negative electrode and an Electrolyte material
The anode and cathode have two diverse chemical potentials that depend on the reactions that occur at either ends. The electrolyte material can either be solid or liquid, which translates to a dry cell or a wet cell respectively. The border between the electrodes and electrolyte is called the SEI (solid-electrolyte interphase). The applied voltage across the electrodes leads to the conversion of the stored chemical energy in the battery to be converted to electrical energy.
Advantages of nano batteries
Using nanotechnology to manufacture nano batteries has many advantages which include the increase of the power available from the battery and the decrease of the time required to fully recharge the battery. These benefits can be achieved by coating the surface of the electrode using nanoparticles, thus effectively increasing the surface area of the electrode by allowing higher flow of current between the electrode and the electrolyte of the battery.
Nanomaterials coating of the electrodes also leads to isolating the electrodes from the electrolyte material inside the battery, when the battery is not used. Currently, in the available battery technologies, the electrodes and electrolyte material interact, leading to a low level discharge. This leads to a decrease in the shelf life of the battery
Normal lithium-ion battery technology utilizes active materials, like cobalt-oxide or manganese oxide, which has particles that range in the size of 5 and 20 micrometers (size nearly larger100 times than nanoscale). The advantages of nanotechnology can overcome many of the defects of the normal battery technology, like volume expansion and the power density.
Disadvantages of nano batteries
Aside from the advantages of nanotechnology, it can present some disadvantages like: the size of nanoparticles which has a low density and high surface area. As the surface area increases, more reactions may occur with air at the surface. This causes non stability of the materials inside the battery. The low density of nanoparticles can cause a higher inter particle resistance, which can decrease the electrical conductivity of the material.
Nanomaterials manufacturing process is complex, so the cost of manufacturing is high. So in spite of the benefits and performance improvement of nano batteries, the manufacturing associated costs is a huge factor that prevents further scaling of the technology.