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Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Researchers from Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute have developed a new material that will make lithium-ion batteries safer to use in today's electronic devices.

Li-ion batteries are used in mobile phones, and there have been some instances where batteries overheated and caused fires and/or injuries. The cause of these fires is batteries that short circuit, most often due to damage. To prevent Li-ion batteries from short circuiting, the researchers created a new polymer, called STOBA (self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture). This polymer is applied to the cathode material inside a Li-on battery, which prevents the battery from short circuiting if it is damaged.

The researchers say the material will add only 2% or 3% to the cost to manufacture the battery. The researchers say the material is ready for use, though no battery makers have publicly committed to using it.

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