We all know lithium-ion batteries need careful monitoring to prevent over-charging and ensure cell temperature remains within limits. We all thought we knew the best way to replace the charge as well: trickle charge, take it nice and gentle to keep the cell temperature down and prolong cell life. Turns out we may have got that last one wrong! New findings published in the Nature Materials Journal by a team of researchers at Stanford University indicate that by tweaking the battery design it may be possible to get faster charge/discharge rates and also increase the number of charge cycles.
To check out what was going on a microscopic scale the researchers made small coin cell batteries. These where then charged at different rates for various periods of time, dismantled (their contents washed out to stop the charge/discharge process) and then the electrodes were sliced up for examination under x-rays.
For more detail: Better lithium-ion Charging