Researchers at Clemson University in the U.S have designed a prototype Aluminum-ion battery (AIB) that uses a graphene electrode to intercalate tetrachloroaluminate (AlCl4–). The researchers have used the device to investigate the effect of defects and doping on battery performance.
Aluminum-ion batteries are gaining recognition in the scientific community as a potential alternative to Li-ion battery systems, but so far there have been many obstacles. Unlike in LIBs, where the mobile ion is Li+, aluminum forms a complex with chloride in most electrolytes and generates an anionic mobile charge carrier, usually AlCl4– or Al2Cl7–. The team at Clemson University's Nanomaterials Institute have elucidated the intercalation mechanism of the AlCl4– anion in graphene electrodes, and provided a unique insight into the influence of defects and doping on the intercalation process.