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2017-01-24

US breakthrough solves solid-state battery issues




A team of researchers in the US have developed a solid-state battery they claim will improve safety, performance, and cost of lithium-ion technologies.
Scientists at the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and A. James Clark School of Engineering added a layer of aluminum oxide between lithium electrodes and a garnet (a solid non-flammable ceramic electrolyte).
The team believe it will resolve cycling issues by decreasing impedance by a factor of 300 between a battery’s garnet and electrode.
Using garnet electrolytes allows battery makers to use metallic lithium anodes, which, when combined with sulfur cathodes, could push the energy boundaries of the technology.
The research was published online in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Materials.
“This is a revolutionary advancement in the field of solid-state batteries— particularly in light of recent battery fires, from Boeing 787s to hoverboards to Samsung smartphones,” said Liangbing Hu, associate professor of materials science and engineering and a corresponding author of the paper.
He added: “Our garnet-based solid-state battery is a triple threat, solving the typical problems that trouble existing lithium-ion batteries: safety, performance, and cost.”
Bruce Dunn, UCLA materials science and engineering professor, but who was not involved in the research, said the work effectively solved the lithium metal–solid electrolyte interface resistance problem, previously a major barrier in developing robust solid-state batteries.