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December 3, 2018

Batteries of the future made with salt

Running out of "juice," finding a place to charge up, borrowing a charger, waiting for the charge--it's a familiar ritual for cell phone owners, but materials scientist Shirley Meng of the University of California, San Diego, wants us to raise our expectations for the future. She envisions cheaper, faster, more powerful batteries, but these batteries would be made with sodium, not lithium. Sodium and other elements that make a sodium batteries work are more abundant than the lithium and cobalt used in typical rechargeable batteries. But, few advances have been made with sodium battery technology and there's no infrastructure in place to help scientists make great strides, at least not yet.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1608968, Interfacial Science and Defect Engineering of Functional Oxides for Sodium-ion Storage and Transport.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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