argyrodite.jpgThe days of fretting over a low battery may be over. Scientists in Germany are attempting to create a revolutionary new battery for cell phones, laptops, etc. that never needs recharging, turning to a unique source: Argyrodite. Argyrodite is a silver, germanium and sulphur-containing mineral discovered near Freiberg, Germany, in 1885 which may hold the key to virtually limitless energy production.

Mobile phones, notebook computers and iPods are all devices dependent on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to deliver power. In ionic conductors, charge is not transported in the form of electrons as it is in metals. Instead, the charge is transported in the form of charged particles; typically, lithium ions.

This transport requires materials in which the lithium ions can move as freely as possible. And that’s where Argyrodite comes in.

Argyrodite’s Advantage

The team from the University of Siegen, in cooperation with scientists at the University of Muenster, studied Argyrodite, learning that the silver ions in this material are very mobile.The individual components of argyrodite can be replaced by a number of other atoms without altering the typical structure of the mineral, according to a report on the physorg.com Web site.

The lithium ions can “jump” from gap to gap, said the report by physorg.com. The freely moving ions indicate that the solid has a high ionic conductivity and the reported bromine-containing structure has the highest ionic conductivity of lithium ions known for any argyrodite to date. This analysis allowed precise characterization of the crystal structures of these compounds and provided fascinating insights into the dynamics of the mobile lithium ions. It all ads up to a new approach to battery life, so stand by.

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