Rocky Mountain High?
A Colorado State University-spawned company has raised more than $5 million in its effort to make a lithium-ion battery that uses nanotechnology to boost its power and endurance far beyond a typical battery that powers everything from electric vehicles to mobile phones, Silicon Republic reports.
Prieto Battery, founded by Colorado State University assistant chemistry professor Amy Prieto, was founded in 2010 with the goal of making a battery that boosts power by a factor of 1,000 and extends endurance tenfold. The science is pretty involved – check out Prieto Battery website here – but it essentially involves intertwining the battery's cathode and anode instead of having lithium ions travel from one to the other through a liquid electrolyte. The battery has a "copper antimonide (Cu2Sb) electrodeposited on nanowires or copper foam" that "lends an unprecedented degree of stability to the anode and has already demonstrated virtually no loss of capacity over extensive cycling – a dramatic improvement over other anode materials." See? Involved.
Colorado State is one of a number of U.S. universities – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has also been particularly active – where scientists are looking to accelerate electric-drive powertrain technology through lithium-ion battery advancements. We say, study harder. We sure could use those batteries.