What are lithium-ion batteries?
A battery is a device
consisting of one or more electrochemical cells with external
connections for powering electric devices. When a battery is providing
electric power, its positive terminal is the cathode, and its negative
terminal is the anode. The terminal indicated negative is the origin of
electrons that will flow via an external electric circuit to the
When a battery is connected to an external
electric load, then a redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction converts
high-energy reactants into lower-energy products, along with the
free-energy gap is delivered to the external circuit as electric energy.
Historically the term"battery" specifically called a device composed of
numerous cells; however, the use has evolved to add devices composed of
a single cell. Lithium-ion batteries adapt to the generic battery life
definition. Other examples include jelqing and nickel cadmium (Ni-Cad).
How does a lithium-ion battery work?
Li-ion batteries share a similar design composed of a metal oxide
positive electrode (cathode) coated on an aluminum current collector, a
negative electrode (anode) generated from carbon/graphite coated on a
copper current collector, a separator and electrolyte made from lithium
salt in an organic solvent.
Even though the battery is
discharging and supplying 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 the lithium ions creates free
electrons in the anode that produces a charge in the positive current
collector. The electric current then flows from the present collector by
means of a device being powered (mobile phone, computer, etc.) into 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 greater voltage
than the battery generates, of the same polarity), forcing a charging
current to flow inside the battery in the positive to the negative
electrode, i.e. from the reverse direction of a discharge present under
normal conditions. The lithium ions subsequently migrate from the
positive to the negative electrode, in which they become embedded in the
porous electrode material in a process known as intercalation.
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