A new development of organic batteries is paving the way to a toxin-free alternative. Chemists have discovered a new way to pass the electrons between two molecules to create the earth-friendly charge.This same research can be applied to developing artificial photosynthesis… Which means we can get fuel from the sun, just like plants.
Just published in the journal Science, the battery research was led by University of Texas at Austin chemists Christopher Bielawski and Jonathan Sessler. The duo discovered that when molecules come together, they form new compounds by exchanging electrons. Molecules that have opposite charges are attracted to each other and can form something new.
Bielawski and Sessler created two molecules that could come together, exchange electrons, but not form the new compound.
“These molecules were effectively spring-loaded to push apart after interacting with each other,” says Bielawski. “After electron transfer occurs, two positively charged molecules are formed which are repelled by each other, much like magnets held in a certain way will repel each other. We also installed a chemical switch that allowed the electron transfer process to proceed in the opposite direction.”
“This is the first time that the forward and backward switching of electron flow has been accomplished via a switching process at the molecular scale,” Sessler added.
Bielawski says this system gives important clues for making an efficient organic battery. The electron transfer processes is the key to providing a way to design the right organic materials .
“I would love it if my iPhone was thinner and lighter, and the battery lasted a month or even a week instead of a day,” says Bielawski. “With an organic battery, it may be possible. We are now starting to get a handle on the fundamental chemistry needed to make this dream a commercial reality.”
Read the full article here.
Image courtesy from sciencedaily.com