Honeycomb structures might be the key supercharging batteries

engineering careers  Honeycomb structures might be the key supercharging batteries

Material Scientists have developed a new material to extend the life of the batteries up to 100 times.

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The new material, developed by a team from the University of Missouri, works by uses a unique “honeycomb” lattice structure that has some distinctive electronic properties.

The projects lead Deepak K. Singh, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri, explained because semiconductor diodes and amplifiers are made of silicon or germanium, and diodes work by conducting current and voltage through the device along only one direction. When the voltage is reversed, the current stops and that “switching process costs significant energy due to dissipation, or the depletion of the power source, thus affecting battery life”.

The team were able to substitute the semiconductor material normally used with a magnetic system to create a more energetically effective device. The new material consumes much less power.

The two-dimensional, nanostructured material was created by depositing a magnetic alloy (permalloy) on the honeycomb structured template of a silicon surface. This new material then conducts unidirectional current which only flows one way.

The new magnetic diode should pave the way for new magnetic transistors and amplifiers which dissipate very little power. This could mean that Engineers might not just be able to increase the life of batteries, but that less dissipative power in computer processors could see huge reductions the heat generated in mobile phones, laptop or desktop CPUs. Regulating heat is one of the key problems in designing everything from thinner mobile phones to modern computer chassis.

The team have applied for a US patent for the new material and looking at creating a spin-off company to bring the technology to market

Published as “Magnetic Diode Behavior at Room Temperature in 2D Honeycombs” in Advanced Electronic Materials Volume 4, Issue 5