Scientists at St. Petersburg State University have shown a new type of battery that is capable of charging ten times faster than a lithium-ion battery. From a safety point of view, such a battery is also more interesting: it is less likely to catch fire and is easier to dispose of.

The new battery is capable of excelling in situations where a very fast charge is required, or when operating at low temperatures. Its use is completely safe – there is nothing in it that could catch fire or explode, unlike cobalt-based batteries, which are widespread today. It also contains tens of times less metals that can cause environmental harm. Nickel is present in small amounts in our polymer, but there is much less of it than in lithium-ion batteries.

Oleg Levin

Professor of the Department of Electrochemistry, St. Petersburg State University

It took over three years to develop a special polymer for the battery. The main chain is formed by complexes of nickel with ligands, which are called “salem”. Through covalent bonds, stable and free radicals are attached to the chain, which are capable of rapid oxidation and reduction (charge and discharge).

The battery with the developed polymer can be charged in a matter of seconds, but at the moment the maximum capacity, compared to lithium-ion batteries, is 30–40% lower.

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