Light-Powered Battery And Fuel Cell Design

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Researchers revealed that ultraviolet lights can significantly improve the performance of rechargeable batteries and fuel cells.

Researchers and engineers are trying to improve the performance of rechargeable batteries and fuel cells. Recently, researchers from University of Tsukuba have indicated using ultraviolet light pulses to access ion conductor properties that are otherwise difficult to safely attain.

The researchers have revealed that ultraviolet light can modulate oxide ion transport in a perovskite crystal at room temperature. The performance of a rechargeable battery and fuel cell electrolyte depends on the motions of electrons and ions within the electrolyte. Modulating the motion of oxide ions within the electrolyte could enhance future battery and fuel cell functionality. Here, the researchers suggest modulating the motion of oxide ions by ultraviolet light pulses.

“Electron diffraction results, spectroscopy results, and corresponding calculations confirmed this interpretation,” explains Professor Hada. “At a delivered energy of 2 millijoules per square centimeter, approximately 6% of the oxide ions undergo substantial disorder in the crystals within several picoseconds, without damaging the crystal.”

The cobalt-oxygen bonds originally restrict oxide motion, but ultraviolet-light-induced electron transfer can break these bonds. This facilitates oxide ion motion in a way that accesses several states that are pertinent to storing the light energy input.

The research appeared in the journal Applied Materials Today.


 

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