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Smarter lithium-ion batteries

Published online 19 September 2016

Scientists create “sandwich-like” nanoporous material to better lithium-ion batteries.

Biplab Das

An ultrathin, nanoporous, layered material can allow fast transport of lithium ions at high current densities, scientists discover. The material is potentially useful for manufacturing high-performance lithium-ion batteries1.   

Two-dimensional nanomaterials are widely used for preparing lithium-ion batteries, but most of them show poor electrical conductivity.  

Using a two-step process, scientists from China and Qatar have synthesized a material where a single layer of molybdenum disulfide is sandwiched between two single layers of nanoporous carbon layers. 

“Since this method of creating the trilayer is simple and reproducible, it could potentially be used to make efficient lithium-ion batteries in industries,” says principal scientist Dongyuan Zhao from Fudan University, China. 

The nanopores on the surface of the carbon layers transport electrons and lithium ions between the layers, resulting in excellent electrical conductivity that indicates the formation of well-matched interfaces between the molybdenum disulfide layer and the carbon layers.   

Lithium-ion batteries made using this technique demonstrated ultrahigh lithium storage. This is thanks to the nanopores of the carbon layers which abundantly adsorb lithium ions, say the researchers. 

The batteries are also now capable of storing charge even after long cycles of charging and recharging. 


  1. Fang, Y. et al. Synthesis of 2D-mesoporous-carbon/MoS2 heterostructures with well-defined interfaces for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. Adv. Mater. (2016).