In one of previous articles we’ve written about lithium-ion batteries and we’ve explained that almost every battery of that kind can suddenly catch fire. One of the solutions was replacing flammable liquid electrolytes with a better option. And that’s what scientists from Stanford University have been working on – they managed to find more than 20 hard electrolytes which theoretically can substitute liquid ones in our smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
The head of investigation, scientist Austin Sendek, said that the main advantage of hard electrolytes is their stability. They are less likely to inflame or evaporate. Plus, they are more firm, so the battery structure becomes more solid.
For finding suitable materials for batteries, scientists used artificial intelligence and computer-aided learning. The team created a computer model which had to select from thousands of materials all the electrolytes that matched the criteria. The results were quite optimistic – the machine was able to find 21 suitable electrolytes. By the way, the search took only a few minutes, while collecting the data and creating the computer model took 2 years. Now, scientists are planning to test all these materials to find out, which one works with lithium-ion batteries the best.
So, the solution against all these incidents may be unveiled very soon. Hopefully, scientists do manage to find a perfect hard electrolyte and our mobile devices will become completely safe.