A study has shown that the fast charging of batteries in today’s devices, such as smartphones, degrades lithium-ion batteries faster by damaging their components, causing them to break down sooner than expected, according to researchers at Purdue University in the United States.

According to a statement published by the university, this study led by Kejie Zhao, has analyzed at a microscopic level using techniques such as X-ray degradation of components of lithium-ion batteries, used by devices such as computers, mobile phones and even electric cars.

The results show that the rapid charging of the batteries of current mobiles damages the electrodes of the battery, causing it to polarize and reduce its charging capacity.

They explain that “each time the battery is charged, the lithium ions move back and forth between a positive electrode and a negative electrode,” which, when interacting with electrode particles, “causes them to break or degrade over time”.

Zhao confirms that “this heterogeneous degradation is more severe in thicker electrodes and during fast charging conditions”.

In the study, researchers show they built a 3D model of the device to analyze how the lithium battery changed when charged and when discharged.

And thanks to the help of an X-ray machine driven by artificial intelligence, they were able to scan hundreds of particles from the electrodes of the lithium battery at once, using automatic learning algorithms. In this way, the researchers were able to pinpoint damaged areas of the battery.

So far, no solution has been found to the problems caused by rapid battery charging, the researchers conclude.

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