Materials discovery for earth-abundant battery ーBattery with new Na-Fe chemistry can surpass lithium-ion ー



 Rechargeable lithium batteries have ushered the wireless revolution over last two decades and are now matured to enable green automobiles. However, the growing concern on scarcity and large-scale applications of Li-resources have steered effort to realize sustainable sodium-ion batteries, Na and Fe being abundant and low cost charge-carrier and redox center respectively.

  However, previous materials development was limited to just replacing Li to Na in already known compounds for lithium batteries, and their performance is far from practical requirements owing to low operating voltage and sluggish kinetics.

  Professor Atsuo Yamada group of the University of Tokyo have explored hitherto unkown Na-Fe based compounds with entirely new composition and structure, and addressed a new earth abundant cathode material, which may enable sodium-ion battery with superior performance to lithium-ion battery. It can be synthesized very easily and generates high voltage of 3.8 V with quick charge-discharge in a few minutes.