Lithium is considered the best available battery anode material because it carries the highest theoretical capacity and lowest electrochemical potential of all known candidate elements. But the material has several drawbacks. Repeated charge and discharge cycles can cause microscopic structural changes that lead to internal short circuits, or merely to reduced battery life.
Researchers across the world have been trying to make such boron cousins of graphene. The technique developed by the research team at IIT Gandhinagar is not only inexpensive and simple in design, but also results in an aqueous colloid of these nanosheets, which means that a drop of water from this colloid would contain thousands of nanosheets swimming like micro-carpets.
The rapid development of flexible and wearable electronics is giving rise to an exciting range of applications, from smart watches and flexible displays — such as smart phones, tablets, and TV — to smart fabrics, smart glass, transdermal patches, sensors, and more. With this rise, demand has increased for high-performance flexible batteries.