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The UJI and CIDETEC patent new electrolytes based on ionic liquids that prolong the life of solar cells and batteries
09 July 2013
Researchers from CIDETEC in the Basque Country and the Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group at the Universitat Jaume I have discovered a new family of ionic liquids that produce electrolytes that improve the performance, stability and durability of electrochemical and electronic devices.
The new electrolytes, protected in a patent, contain no additional solvents or water; they are compatible with inorganic materials and have a clear application in batteries and dye solar cells sensitized with semiconductors. These materials have the peculiarity of presenting sulphide or polysulphide, a non-volatile ionic liquid that has high ion conductivity and enables to use it at much higher temperatures.
This technology has a promising field of application in the manufacture of batteries with higher energy density. Faced with ion-lithium batteries, the batteries based on lithium-sulphur provide a three times higher autonomy, but without increasing their size and weight, and with a lower cost. Solar cells are also presented as an attractive alternative to reduce production costs, improving aspects such as stability and durability to make them more profitable, and turning photovoltaic electricity into a safe, clean and sustainable choice.
Currently, electrolytes are fully developed and they are undergoing concept tests in the field of batteries to validate the properties of the patented compounds in a direct industrial application. Regarding its application in solar cells, cells with quantum dots have been tested with excellent results in device stability compared to the existing technology.
Their areas of application are framed in the field of materials technology and chemistry, specifically in electrochemical solar cells, lithium-sulphur batteries, electrochromic devices, electrochemical biosensors or electrodeposition coating materials.