Advancements in Sodium-ion Batteries

  • 17 May 2023

Recently, in a remarkable scientific breakthrough, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have developed a groundbreaking cathode material that holds the potential to revolutionize the field of energy storage.

ABOUT THE RESEARCH TEAM: The research team, conducted extensive research supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), exploring materials science and electrochemical principles to uncover critical factors for achieving high-performance Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries.

Key Findings of the Research

  • Addressing Air/Water-Instability and Instability Challenges: The newly discovered material tackles the challenges of air/water-instability and structural-cum-electrochemical instability found in Sodium(Na)–transition-metal–oxide-based cathode materials, enabling the development of high-performance and environmentally friendly Na-ion batteries.
  • Two Major Breakthroughs: The team achieved two significant breakthroughs in their research.
  • ­First, by reducing Transition Metal-Oxygen (TM-O) bond covalency, they strengthened the predominantly ionic Sodium-Oxygen (Na-O) bond, leading to improved air/water stability and the elimination of toxic chemicals during electrode preparation.
  • ­Second, by increasing TM-O bond covalency, they widened the "inter-slab" spacing, enabling faster Na-transport kinetics and enhancing power density.
  • Impact of Covalency Manipulation: By manipulating the covalency of the TM-O bond, the researchers can influence the net negative charge on the Oxygen-ion (O-ion), which in turn affects the electrostatic interactions within the structure.
  • Alternative to Li-ion Batteries: Na-ion batteries are emerging as a promising alternative to Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, and with India's abundant sodium resources, the development of a reliable and sustainable Na-ion battery system is crucial within the Indian context.
  • Implications for Various Sectors: The research holds significant implications for various sectors, including portable electronics, grid-level energy storage, and electric vehicles, where the advancements in Na-ion batteries can have a transformative impact.
  • Highlighting India's Scientific Expertise: This research underscores India's expertise in cutting-edge scientific advancements and positions the country at the forefront of sustainable and efficient energy storage solutions.
  • Towards a Cleaner and Greener Future: The discovery of the new cathode material brings humanity closer to a cleaner and greener future, where affordable and environmentally friendly energy storage systems play a vital role in achieving sustainable development goals.