American scientists have created a battery based on liquid metal, separated by an electrolyte made of organic material that works at room temperature. In acts as an anode alloy of sodium with potassium, and as the cathode — liquid alloys based on gallium. A study published in Advanced Materials.
In 1800 Alessandro Volta was connected by a wire the zinc and copper plates and dropped them in acid, to get the first electrochemical source of current. Placing alternately cathodes and anodes separated by electrolyte soaked cloth, the scientist created the progenitor of the modern batteries. Since then the technology of generating electricity from the energy of chemical reactions has advanced significantly. Last fall the chemists who developed the now widely used lithium-ion batteries, was awarded the Nobel prize.
And yet, in batteries with solid electrodes have several disadvantages that can be partially solved if you replace the anode and cathode in liquid metals. Batteries with these electrodes, in contrast to solid state, do not form dendrites that may cause short circuit, can repair itself and work faster. In addition to the characteristics like high power consumption and large number of recharge cycles, which already showed the creators of liquid batteries, the current sources should work at room temperature.
Yu Ding (Ding Yu) and his colleagues from the University of Texas in Austin have created the first of its kind battery, which consist of liquid electrodes and electrolyte and can operate at 20 degrees Celsius. Considering the melting temperature, the abundance of the elements in the nature, toxicity and vapour pressure, the researchers chose as the negatively charged electrode alloy of sodium with potassium, and the role of the cathode was performed based alloys of gallium with indium or tin.