RESEARCH

Silicon

 

Silicon, the second-most abundant element in the earth's crust, is crucial for our technology-driven society. Silicon gives us computers, smartphones, solar cells, and light-emitting devices.

Silicon is not a metal. Silicon is a semiconductor, which means that silicon does not conduct electricity at room temperature, only when it is heated up. Its conductance can be adjusted using phosphorus and boron. This has made silicon a vital component of all electronics, where electrons in circuit need to be turned on and off.

Silicon is not found free in nature. It is most often found in its oxide form, silicates. Examples include quartz and sand, along with the gemstones amethyst, agate, jaspar, opal and citrine

Li-ion batteries

 

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are rechargeable batteries with high energy density and are mainly used in portable equipment. Li-ion batteries are expected to witness notable growth in the coming years. This is due to the competitive advantages of the battery such as enhanced efficiency, eco-friendly and longer life span compared to other batteries.

The market for these batteries is expected to witness a significant growth owing to their increasing use in smartphones, tablets/PCs, digital cameras, and power tools. Moreover, the demand for Li-ion batteries in the automobile industry is expected to increase with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. These batteries have gained popularity among the automobile manufacturers as they offer an alternative to nickel–metal batteries used in electric vehicles, due to their small size and light weight.

Moreover, stringent government regulations aimed at reducing the increasing pollution levels, and enhanced efficiency of lithium-ion batteries are some other driving factors of this market. The impact of these drivers is expected to increase significantly due to increasing awareness about the benefits of the lithium-ion batteries.

Silicon anode battery

 

Silicon anode battery is an extension of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. They are also called next generation Li-ion batteries. Utilizing silicon as an anode in batteries offer more than 10 times theoretical capacities as compared to lithium-ion battery. This results in significantly higher energy storage and longer battery life.

Silicon anode batteries are used in various applications which include industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, and grid & renewable energy. Under the consumer goods, batteries are utilized in digital cameras, mp4 players, cell phones, laptops, tablets, and several other microelectronic devices. In automotive, batteries are used in hybrid electric vehicles and electric bicycles.

Silicon anode batteries offer high performance capacity as compared to other conventional batteries. The replacement of graphite anode with silicon is expected to be one of the biggest trends in the global battery market.

 
 

Source: Institutt For Energiteknikk, 2016

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