In a groundbreaking study published in Applied Physics Reviews, researchers have introduced a novel method to address the challenge of enhancing the capacity of sodium-ion batteries. Led by Professor Oleg Kolosov from Lancaster University and Professor Zhigao Huang from Fujian Normal University, this research promises to revolutionize the field of energy storage.

Professor Kolosov emphasized the importance of nanoscale studies in developing high-performing and safe batteries. By focusing on rechargeable storage at the molecular level, researchers aim to create a more cost-effective and sustainable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Unlike lithium, sodium is abundant and easily accessible, making it a viable option for long-term energy storage solutions.

The key innovation in this study is the development of electrochemical ultrasonic force microscopy (EC-UFM) for real-time imaging of battery interfaces during operation. This approach provides unprecedented insights into the formation and characteristics of the solid-state-interphase (SEI) in batteries, which directly impacts their efficiency and lifespan. By utilizing EC-UFM, researchers can optimize the SEI layer formation to facilitate the transfer of charge carriers within the battery, resulting in improved performance.

One of the main challenges in sodium-ion batteries is their limited capacity compared to lithium-ion counterparts. To overcome this limitation, the researchers leveraged a unique approach involving the co-intercalation of sodium into the carbon electrode using a solvent. This innovative technique not only enhances the overall capacity of sodium-ion batteries but also ensures efficient charge/discharge cycles by preserving the charge carrier mobility.

The implications of this study go beyond sodium-ion batteries and could have far-reaching effects on the energy storage industry as a whole. By enhancing the cycle stability, lifespan, and capacity of batteries, this research paves the way for sustainable energy solutions that are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The development of EC-UFM as part of the NEXGENNA Faraday Institution project marks a significant milestone in advancing battery technology.

The innovative technique introduced by Professor Kolosov, Professor Huang, and their team represents a major step forward in the quest for high-performance energy storage solutions. Through nanoscale studies and the development of EC-UFM, researchers have unlocked new possibilities for improving sodium-ion batteries and transforming the future of energy storage.


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