Lithium ion battery

lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery (abbreviated as LIB) is a type of rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used for portable electronics and electric vehicles and are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications. The technology was largely developed by John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, Rachid Yazami and Akira Yoshino during the 1970s–1980s.

In the batteries, lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge, and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as the material at the positive electrode and typically graphite at the negative electrode. The batteries have a high energy density, no memory effect (other than LFP lithium iron phosphate cells) and low self-discharge. They can however be a safety hazard since they contain a flammable electrolyte, and if damaged or incorrectly charged can lead to explosions and fires.

Chemistry, performance, cost and safety characteristics vary across LIB types. Handheld electronics mostly use lithium polymer batteries (with a polymer gel as electrolyte) with lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) as cathode material, which offers high energy density, but presents safety risks, especially when damaged. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO
4
), lithium ion manganese oxide battery (LiMn2O4Li2MnO3, or LMO), and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC) offer lower energy density but longer lives and less likelihood of fire or explosion. Such batteries are widely used for electric tools, medical equipment, and other roles. NMC in particular is a leading contender for automotive applications.

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