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Quebec researchers celebrate breakthrough in lithium-ion batteries

February 24, 2015 | By Renée Francoeur

February 24, 2015 – Researchers from Quebec’s IREQ (Hydro-Quebec‘s research institute) and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) are celebrating a “scientific breakthrough” when it comes to the technology used to power electronic vehicles and devices.

The team has synthesized silicate-based nanoboxes that could “more than double the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries as compared to conventional phosphate-based cathodes.” It’s a discovery, said IREQ, that could pave the way to longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and mobile devices.

“IBN’s expertise in synthetic chemistry and nanotechnology allows us to explore new synthetic approaches and nanostructure design to achieve complex materials that pave the way for breakthroughs in battery technology, especially regarding transportation electrification,” said Karim Zaghib, director of Energy Storage and Conservation at Hydro-Quebec.

Lithium-ion batteries are used to power many electronic devices, including smart phones, medical devices and electric vehicles. As demand grows, so does the interest in developing new compounds that may increase energy storage capacity, stability and lifespan compared to conventional lithium phosphate batteries, noted Hydro-Quebec.


The five-year research collaboration between IBN and Hydro-Quebec was established in 2011. The researchers plan to “further enhance their new cathode materials to create high-capacity lithium-ion batteries for commercialization.”

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