What are lithium-ion batteries?

A battery is a device consisting of one or more electrochemical cells with outside relations for powering electrical devices. When a battery is providing electric power, its positive terminal is the cathode, and also its negative terminal is the anode. The terminal indicated negative is the origin of electrons which will flow through an external electric circuit to the positive terminal.

When a battery is connected to an outside electric load, then a redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction expands high-energy reactants to lower-energy goods, along with the free-energy gap is delivered into the external circuit as electric energy. Historically the term"battery" specifically referred to a device made up of numerous cellsnonetheless, the use has evolved to add devices composed of a single cell. Lithium-ion batteries conform to the generic battery life definition. Other examples include lead-acid and nickel cadmium (Ni-Cad).

How can a lithium-ion battery work?

Most Li-ion batteries share a similar layout composed of a metallic oxide positive electrode (cathode) coated onto an aluminum current collector, a negative electrode (anode) generated from carbon/graphite coated on a copper current collector, a separator and electrolyte made of lithium salt in an organic solvent.

While the battery is discharging and providing an electric current, the electrolyte carries positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator. The motion of these lithium ions creates free electrons in the anode which creates a charge in the positive current collector. The electrical current then flows from the current collector by means of a device being powered (mobile phone, computer, etc.) to the negative current collector. The separator blocks the flow of electrons within the battery.

During charging, an external electric power source (the charging circuit) applies an over-voltage (a higher voltage than the battery generates, of the same polarity), forcing a charging current to flow within the battery from the positive to the negative electrode, i.e. in the reverse direction of a discharge current under normal conditions. The lithium ions then migrate in the positive to the negative electrode, where they become embedded in the porous electrode material in a procedure known as intercalation.

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