Breakthrough in 3D printing battery hollow electrodes

Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new type of 3D printing that overcomes the previous disadvantages of "comb geometry". And he opened the way to the creation of complex multidimensional, but still porous structures at the micro level. The authors of the novelty are confident that they will revolutionize the energy sector.

By definition, a hollow electrode is better than a solid one, since the electrolyte can not only settle on the outer layer, but also penetrate deeply inside, which greatly increases the accumulated charge. The challenge is to design and implement a structure that retains strength, operational reliability and is not too expensive. This trend is called "comb geometry", but it is not suitable for printing really large objects on a traditional 3D printer.

Therefore, scientists have designed a new device that does not deposit plastic, but shoots microdroplets in the right direction, with strictly verified energies, vectors and coefficients of adhesion and inertia. The drop hits the target, but does not flow, but freezes, becoming a single whole with it. This made it possible to print three-dimensional structures of any complexity and create porous elements with a huge amount of empty space inside. The method is very effective and fast, so it is now in the process of obtaining a patent.

With the same dimensions, the porous electrode provides a specific capacity four times higher than that of a solid analogue, and the volumetric capacity doubles. And no degradation even after 40 charge / discharge cycles. But the main thing is that the less material is used in the electrode, the lighter it is, while maintaining similar performance characteristics. This means that all accumulators, batteries, fuel cells, etc. will become many times more compact than the current ones if the technology is used commercially.