Energy & Green Tech

A new “smart layer” might improve the longevity and efficiency of solid-state batteries.

Researchers from the University of Surrey, the National Physical Laboratory, and University College London have developed a new method to make solid-state electrolytes for solid-state batteries safer and more effective. This study may improve battery energy storage capabilities for use in mobile and electric vehicles.

The researchers were able to stop a common issue known as “lithium dendrite growth” by adjusting the internal flow of electrons within the battery. The battery can short circuit or lose power as a result of small bits of lithium metal forming in this way. The team developed a special layer between the solid-state electrolyte and lithium metal anode to address this issue and lengthen battery life by preventing errant electrons from entering the electrolyte and causing issues. The study has been published in Energy and Environmental Science.

Dr. “We have developed a solution to address the dendrite growth problem in solid-state batteries, where dendrites can lead to the complete failure of the battery,” said Xuhui Yao, the paper’s first author from the University of Surrey and the National Physical Laboratory. In order to make the battery safer and more dependable, our strategy involves constructing a barrier layer that permits normal battery operation while reducing dendrite growth and fostering their quick elimination.”.

“If the globe wants to create energy storage technologies that enable the UK and the world move to net zero, the scientific community must continue to innovate faster. One of the major problems ahead is meeting the demand for electric vehicles, and this new approach may assist to validate solid-state batteries as the ideal technology for the task.”

Dr. Yunlong Zhao, Senior Lecturer and the project leader from the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey,

In contrast to conventional batteries, which use liquid electrolytes, solid-state batteries use solid-state electrolytes (SSEs). Since these SSEs are frequently made of ceramic or glass, they may have a number of advantages over conventional batteries, including greater energy density, improved safety as a result of the absence of flammable liquid electrolytes, and longer lifespans. The technology is viewed as a potentially valuable component of the energy formula that will enable the transition to a net-zero future.

If the scientific community is to continue to innovate more quickly and create energy storage solutions that assist the UK and the rest of the world in making the transition to net zero, Yunlong Zhao, senior lecturer and project leader from the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey and the National Physical Laboratory, had this to say: How we will be able to meet the demand for electric vehicles is one of the major challenges we will face, and this new approach may help to confirm solid-state batteries as the ideal technology for the job.”.

More information: Xuhui Yao et al, Rectifying interphases for preventing Li dendrite propagation in solid-state electrolytes, Energy & Environmental Science (2023). DOI: 10.1039/D2EE04006A

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