Stanford postdoctoral researcher Chao Wang holds a solid piece of the stretchy, self-healing polymer used to coat and protect silicon battery electrodes. Wang and colleagues at Stanford developed the polymer to help increase the lifetime of the batteries so if they crack under the pressure of use they can repair themselves.   (Source: Brad Plummer/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)A couple of months ago, we told you about a so-called Terminator polymer that could heal itself. Now, researchers at Stanford University are using a similar material to improve the durability of lithium-ion batteries so they don’t crack under the pressure of use.

Researchers in Stanford’s and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have developed a conductive self-healing polymer and used it to coat the electrode of a battery, which binds the electrode together and spontaneously heals tiny cracks that develop during battery operation.

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