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February 1st, 2014
Sodium-ion batteries offer an attractive alternative to Li-ion batteries not because they outperform Li-ion batteries, but mainly because of lower costs due to the the nearly unlimited supply of sodium. They are also an attractive alternative in part because unlike their sodium-sulfur battery cousins they can be made in similar sizes to Li-ion batteries.
However, the commercial development of sodium-ion batteries has been hampered by the materials used in the negative electrodes. These swell to as much as 400 to 500 percent their original size, leading to mechanical damage and loss of electrical contact.
Now researchers at Kansas State University have developed a composite, paper-like material made from two 2-dimensional materials—molybdenum disulfide and graphene nanosheets—that has been shown to overcome this shortcoming.
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