SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean scientists has developed a new material for a secondary or rechargeable battery that can be fully recharged in just a matter of minutes, the science ministry said Monday.
The development of such a battery could significantly raise the popularity of electric vehicles whose lithium-ion batteries currently take hours to recharge, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Conventional batteries use only powdered nanoparticle materials to form a dense, multi-layered structure that can store and give off energy.
The new battery, on the other hand, uses the same type of nanoparticle materials that are first resolved in a solution that contains graphite, which later is carbonized to form a dense network of conductors all throughout the electrodes of the battery, the ministry said.
As a result, all energy-holding particles of the new battery start recharging simultaneously while the same particles in conventional batteries begin recharging in order from the outermost particles to the innermost.
This cuts down on the time needed to recharge the new type of battery to between 1/30 and 1/120 of that of existing rechargeable batteries, according to the ministry.
"The research is especially remarkable in that it overcame limitations of existing lithium-ion batteries," Cho Jae-phil, a professor of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, was quoted as saying.
"We will further move closer to developing a new secondary battery for electric cars that can be fully recharged in less than a minute."
The research team, partly funded by the science ministry, also includes four doctoral students of the Ulsan university -- Lee Sang-han, Cho Yong-hyun, Song Hyun-kon and Lee Kyu-tae.
Their paper, titled "Carbon-Coated Single-Crystal LiMn2O4 Nanoparticle Clusters as Cathode Material for High-Energy and High-Power Lithium-Ion Batteries," was published earlier this month in the international edition of the weekly journal Angewandte Chemie.
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