Promotive Communications

Laboratory Focus November December

Laboratory Focus is Canada's leading editorial-based lab publication. Providing readers with the latest technology updates through application and tech notes, as well as covering new products and trends in laboratories across Canada.

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R&D News ......................... 1 Pharma Notes .................... 5 New Products .................. 15 Calendar .......................... 17 App Reviews ..................... 18 P H A R M A C E U T I C A L C L I N I C A L C H E M I C A L F O O D E N V I R O N M E N T w w w . l a b o r a t o r y f o c u s . c a NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 Volume 18, Number 4 Publications Mail Registration Number: 40052410 DEVELOPING THE BATTERY OF THE FUTURE CLS SCIENTISTS EXPLORE NOVEL EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES, MATERIALS you take a stab in the dark and see how good your aim was." But there are problems with this method, and researchers are still uncertain why some materials work better than others. So Zhou and other researchers are using the synchrotron to examine these materials in a whole new way. If you think of a typical AA battery, the kind you would find in most TV remotes, there is a positive and a negative end called an electrode. Although a number of materials can be used for these electrodes, Zhou and his team are using a novel lithi- um-nickel-maganese-oxide (LMNO) material on the positive electrode that could provide batteries with significantly higher voltage. While the higher voltage of this material can offer a real advantage, it tends to dry out the electrolyte – a liquid necessary for batteries to work properly. Understanding the role that each element in LMNO plays is criti- cal to furthering his research into why the electrolyte dries up. Synchrotron X-rays allows for the visualization of the LMNO in such fine detail that he can iden- tify where the material is breaking down the electrolyte liquid, and de- termine what is happening and how to prevent the breakdown in those places. For the negative electrode however, silicon is a promising and cheap material that researchers are also having success with. "Silicon offers the potential for a higher capacity battery that could hold more charge storage per gram when compared to conventional bat- teries," he said. "Such a battery could work longer after a single charge." Zhou adds "the capacity for silicon is 10 times greater than current nega- tive electrode materials." However, this material comes with its own challenges. When silicon is used in a battery, its volume changes more greatly between when the bat- tery is fully charged and when it has used up its charge. These changes in volume during charging cycles cause the battery to break down over time, so researchers are working on ways to make silicon more stable so it can be used commercially. Zhou believes that since there are currently no batteries on the market using silicon-LMNO electrodes, research into perfecting these materials could lead to new, better batteries. To see this story online visit http://www.laboratoryfocus. ca/?p=2677 The search for the next generation of batteries has led researchers at the Canadian Light Source syn- chrotron to try new methods and materials that could lead to the de- velopment of safer, cheaper, more powerful, and longer-lasting power sources to be used in almost every- thing, from vehicles to phones. "Typically, battery research in- volves cooking chemicals together to create new materials," said Dr. Jigang Zhou, a CLS industrial staff scientist. "The performance of these materials is measured by testing the current, voltage, charge time and number of charge cycles the materials can take. Essentially, Improving Cell Culture Process Through Continuous Monitoring Page 10 Simultaneous Protein Quantitation and Lipid Content Analysis in Biological Samples Page 12 Canadian Light Source industrial staff scientists Jigang Zhou and Toby Bond conduct research on battery cells using the IDEAS beamline. Their research and collaborations could lead to the development of safer, cheaper, more powerful, and longer-lasting batteries for everything from phones to electric vehicles.

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