The new solid-state battery features a cathode composite layer, a sulfide solid electrolyte layer, and a carbon-free micro-silicon layer, making it energy-dense and suitable for electric vehicles and grid storage. (Image credit: UC San Diego via YouTube)
Researchers from UC San Diego have developed a new solid-state battery that promises increased safety, longer life, and energy density. The battery combines two types of technologies, including a solid-state electrolyte and a silicon anode, which the researchers state is suitable for use in many applications, such as electric vehicles batteries and grid storage.
“Silicon anodes are famous for their energy density, which is 10 times greater than the graphite anodes most often used in today’s commercial lithium-ion batteries,” state the researchers. “On the other hand, silicon anodes are infamous for how they expand and contract as the battery charges and discharges, and for how they degrade with liquid electrolytes.” Additionally, silicon anodes expand and contract during the charge/discharge cycle, making the anode brittle over time and degrade with liquid electrolytes.
To overcome those issues, the researchers used a special type of silicon anode that eliminates the carbon and binders commonly used with silicon anodes and replaced the liquid electrolyte with a sulfide-based solid version. When tested, the researchers found that the solid-state battery could retain 80% capacity over 500 charge/recharge cycles at room temperature. The researchers have already licensed the new tech to Unigrid Battery and LG Energy Storage, which plan on furthering the technology. While the breakthrough is an excellent step in advancing solid-state batteries, it will be some time before they become commercialized and available to the general public.
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