Nanoflowers let Li-ion batteries bloom

North Carolina State University researchers have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (a semiconductor material) that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area, which could dramatically boost the capacity of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

The “petals” are 20 to 30 nanometers thick, up to 100 micrometers long and are created by vaporising germanium sulfide (GeS) powder in a furnace, blowing it to a cooler area where it solidifies into sheets, then repeating the process to build up the final “flower”.

One of many nanotechnology projects aimed at improving the capacity of Li-ion technology, such as nanocarbon “brushes” and “foams”, this technique is both cheap and non-toxic, says the University.

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