Thanks to sandy_r for posting to a report on the Scitechdaily website about a paper from Applied Physics Reviews in which researchers have found a way for a battery to self-charge.
From the article:
Researchers use a ferroelectric glass electrolyte within an electrochemical cell to create simple self-charging batteries.
A new type of battery combines negative capacitance and negative resistance within the same cell, allowing the cell to self-charge without losing energy, which has important implications for long-term storage and improved output power for batteries.
The paper from Applied Physics Review can be accessed here:
“Performance of a ferroelectric glass electrolyte in a self-charging electrochemical cell with negative capacitance and resistance” by M.H. Braga, J.E. Oliveira, A.J. Murchison and J.B. Goodenough, 25 February 2020, Applied Physics Reviews.
From the abstract of this paper:
The ability for electrochemical cells to self-charge for extended periods of time is desirable for energy storage applications. While self-oscillation is a phenomenon found in human-made dynamic systems and in nature, its appearance in electrochemical cells has not been reported or anticipated. Here, we chose an electrochemical cell containing two electrodes separated by a self-organizing glass electrolyte containing alkali cations. The ferroelectric character of the electrolyte, with an impressively high dielectric constant of 106–107, supported self-charge and self-oscillation. After fabrication, the cells were characterized to determine the electrical impedance, dielectric spectroscopy, and electrochemical discharge. The electrochemical cells also displayed negative resistance and negative capacitance. Negative capacitance is due to the formation of an inverted capacitor between the double-layer capacitor formed at the negative electrode/electrolyte interface and the dipoles of the ferroelectric-electrolyte. Negative resistance is triggered by the formation of an interface phase, which leads to a step-change of the chemical potential of the electrode.