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Fabricating Genetically Engineered High-Power Lithium-Ion Batteries Using Multiple Virus Genes

Science  22 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5930, pp. 1051-1055
DOI: 10.1126/science.1171541

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Abstract

Development of materials that deliver more energy at high rates is important for high-power applications, including portable electronic devices and hybrid electric vehicles. For lithium-ion (Li+) batteries, reducing material dimensions can boost Li+ ion and electron transfer in nanostructured electrodes. By manipulating two genes, we equipped viruses with peptide groups having affinity for single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on one end and peptides capable of nucleating amorphous iron phosphate(a-FePO4) fused to the viral major coat protein. The virus clone with the greatest affinity toward SWNTs enabled power performance of a-FePO4 comparable to that of crystalline lithium iron phosphate (c-LiFePO4) and showed excellent capacity retention upon cycling at 1C. This environmentally benign low-temperature biological scaffold could facilitate fabrication of electrodes from materials previously excluded because of extremely low electronic conductivity.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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