Lithium-ion batteries consisting of LiCoO2 and graphite are popular worldwide as power sources for your favourite electronics. Graphite and LiCoO2 are called lithium insertion materials. In other words, the lithium-ion battery consists of two lithium insertion materials.
Attempts to develop rechargeable lithium batteries in the early years were unsuccessful due to safety problems. Due to the inherent instability of lithium metal, especially during charging, research shifted to a non-metallic lithium battery using lithium ions.
Slightly lower in energy density than lithium metal, lithium-ion is safe, provided certain precautions are met when charging and discharging. In 1991, the Sony Corporation commercialized the first lithium-ion battery. Other manufacturers followed suit.
The combination of two lithium insertion materials is essential for the basic function of the lithium-ion battery. A plus point of the lithium-ion battery concept is that the operating voltage of the battery can be designed by the choice of insertion reaction in terms of operating voltage and its charge–discharge profile.
The batteries are one of the most popular types of rechargeable battery for portable electronics, with one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, high open circuit voltage, low self-discharge rate, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use.
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