Building a better battery

The battery in your cell phone and laptop may one day hold a longer charge thanks to the work of Xinhua Liang, an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T.

Liang and Rajankumar Patel, PhD ChE’16, are leading a study that uses thin-film coating and atomic layer deposition to boost lithium-ion battery performance. Their work was published in the May 4 issue of Scientific Reports.

Using atomic layer deposition, Liang coats and dopes lithium magnesium nickel oxygen (LMNO) with iron oxide at the same time. Doping means filling in the gaps in the lattice-like crystalline structure of the LMNO by adding an element or compound. Coating is simply putting ultra-thin layers of iron oxide around the whole compound.

Current research practice calls for either doping or coating, but the researchers say their work is the first to do both, and their process allows ionic iron to enter the lattice structure during the coating process. They also say the process improves the performance of lithium-ion batteries and makes them last longer.

The Missouri S&T process makes lithium-ion batteries that have 93 percent capacity retention after 1,000 cycles of charge and discharge at room temperature and 91 percent at elevated temperatures. That is equivalent to about three years of battery life with performance nearly identical to a new battery, Liang says.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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