KSU student builds a better battery

By The Mercury

Sometimes even batteries can use a boost of energy, according to the focus of a K-State graduate student’s research.

Steven Arnold Klankowski, a doctoral candidate in chemistry, is working to develop materials that could be used in future lithium-ion batteries. The materials look to improve the energy storage capacity of batteries so that laptops, cellphones, electric cars and other mobile devices will last longer between charges.

The material being developed by Klankowski helps the electrode store roughly 10 times the amount of energy as current electrodes — giving the batteries a 10-15 percent improvement in current battery technology. Klankowski looks at how the characteristics of the lithium-silicon-alloy material differ with each production cycle and how those characteristics can be improved to move lithium-ion batteries closer to capacitors.

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