Making electrodes from these oxide materials normally requires high temperatures, which is a constraint on battery designs and performance, says Paul Braun, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The process starts by heating lithium and the transition metal of choice, such as cobalt, to 700–1000 °C to form an oxide powder. The high-temperature process ensures the oxide has good crystallinity, which is necessary for high performance. The resulting powder then gets blended with binders and other additives to make an electrode. These additives don’t store any energy, and they take up space and add weight, both of which are at a premium in portable electronics.