A newly developed lithium batteries for rechargeable aircraft and long-range electric cars have been developed.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have reported in the journal Nature Materials a new class of soft, solid electrolytes made from both polymers and ceramics that suppress dendrites in that early nucleation stage, before they can propagate and cause the battery to fail, science tech daily reports.
In the pursuit of a rechargeable battery that can power electric vehicles (EVs) for hundreds of miles on a single charge, scientists have endeavoured to replace the graphite anodes currently used in EV batteries with lithium metal anodes.
The technology is an example of Berkeley Lab’s multidisciplinary collaborations across its user facilities to develop new ideas to assemble, characterise, and develop materials and devices for solid state batteries.
“Our dendrite-suppressing technology has exciting implications for the battery industry,” said co-author Brett Helms, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. “With it, battery manufacturers can produce safer lithium metal batteries with both high energy density and a long cycle life.”
Helms added that lithium metal batteries manufactured with the new electrolyte could also be used to power electric aircraft.
Reference: “Universal chemomechanical design rules for solid-ion conductors to prevent dendrite formation in lithium metal batteries” by Chengyin Fu, Victor Venturi, Jinsoo Kim, Zeeshan Ahmad, Andrew W. Ells, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan and Brett A. Helms, 27 April 2020, Nature Materials.