Research Highlight

Nanobatteries of the future

Biplab Das

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.324 Published online 27 November 2008

Researchers have painstakingly trapped metallic lithium inside carbonaceous nanostructures1. Such trapped lithium in carbon nanostructures could help make rechargeable nanobattery for next generation communication and remote sensing devices.

In search of a better rechargeable battery, the researchers first produced a lithium precursor complex with dark violet colour slowly giving rise to gel-like mass. In the presence of dichloromethane, the gel-like mass decomposed to bimetallic complex containing both lithium and cobalt. Then using this bimetallic complex, they grew thin films in the absence of any reactive gas.

Sophisticated imaging technique showed that lithium could be stable in metallic form in such film. At a magnification of 50,000, the researchers observed some carbon nanoscrolls in the film. The films showed presence of lithium hydroxide and metallic lithium. At a magnification of 200,000, nanoparticles of metallic lithium of about 3-5 nm in dimension were observed.

"We can expect to see rechargeable battery-driven cars on the roads if these eco-friendly batteries become a reality," says lead researcher Mahua Das.

The authors of this work are from: Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; University of Namur, LISE laboratory, 61, Rue de Bruxelles, B-5000, Namur,Belgium.


  1. Das, M. et al. Metallic Li in carbonaceous nanotubes grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition from a metalorganic precursor. Appl. Organomet. Chem. 22, 647-6581 (2008) | Article |