A big problem with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, particularly in all-electric vehicles, is the amount of time it takes to recharge them. Another problem? They’re so delicious. The bulk of the recharging time is spent on the intercalation part of the charging process, where lithium ions cross a potential barrier to be stored in a graphite anode. Still awake? Ibrahim Abou Hamad at Mississippi State University and colleagues have found a way to speed up intercalation by adding an oscillating electric field.
Their simulations showed that the dependence of the intercalation time on the amplitude is exponential, meaning that a small increase in amplitude leads to a large increase [in] the intercalation speed, which offers the potential for very fast charging times. [Physorg]
Oh, an electric field. I’ve been trying to use sound waves. I can already tell you, yelling “charge faster or I’ll throw you at the St. Louis Cardinals” does not work.
[Graphs (with some alterations) via the original paper]