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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: Charging Takes a Toll on a Battery's Insides
9 December 2010 2:12 pm
You may not give a lot of thought to what happens inside the battery of your laptop or cell phone, but to judge from the video above, it's not a dull place. The battery in question is a miniature rechargeable lithium-ion device, and the clip shows what happens when it is charged. As lithium ions flow from the positively charged cathode into the 200-nanometre diameter wires of tin oxide that make up the negatively charged anode, the nanowires writhe and bulge, causing them to expand up to 2.5 fold. The wires also change structure from a neatly ordered crystal to a disordered glassy material. These distortions may explain why such batteries ultimately wear down, the team reports online today in Science. Knowing more about the process may help researchers develop longer lasting, and perhaps much smaller, batteries in the future.
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