Dr. Shan, Xiaonan

A Safer, Less Expensive and Fast Charging Aqueous Battery

Xiaonan Shan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, said the discovery offers promise for energy storage and other applications, including electric vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are critical for modern life, from powering our laptops and cell phones to those new holiday toys. But there is a safety risk – the batteries can catch fire.

Zinc-based aqueous batteries avoid the fire hazard by using a water-based electrolyte instead of the conventional chemical solvent. However, uncontrolled dendrite growth limits their ability to provide the high performance and long life needed for practical applications.