Nanowires can be defined as structures that have a diameter of tens of nanometers or less. The surface area of one or both of the electrodes of a normal battery is increased through the use of nanowires; the battery is then called a nanowire battery. The conventional graphite anodes used in batteries are replaced with a combination of lithium-ion batteries. The design includes stainless steel anodes covered with silicon nanowire. Germanium anodes can also be used to replace graphite anodes. Both designs enable faster charging and high current delivery. A disadvantage of using both these materials is the expansion which occurs during charging and disintegration after a limited number of cycles. The conductivity of electrons in an atom is affected by unbounded electrons, resulting in electricity being conducted poorly as compared to the bulk material; this is known as the edge effect. The atoms that are not completely bonded to their neighboring atoms and lay at the surface of the nanowire give rise to the edge effect. Nanowire conductivity is strongly influenced by the edge effect. Amprius, a startup company which has been exploring the potential of this new technology, has launched long lasting lithium-ion batteries for laptops and electric vehicles. The working capacity of laptops will increase to 20 hours on a single charge. These batteries are especially useful for engineers working in fields and for businessmen. The third generation product by Amprius will be a huge success in terms of power usage.
Lithium is stored in small silicon nanowires which have a diameter 0.001 times smaller than the diameter of a sheet of paper. Nanowires have the ability to expand to four times their original size when charging and do not fracture. Nanowire batteries produce as much as 10 times more electricity than the current batteries.
As nanowire batteries are an emerging trend gaining traction in the electronics media, several researchers and universities are working towards making this technology more accessible to the public. Amprius is launching its products with the help of Stanford University to meet the changing needs of the customers.
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