An international team of scientists has created a new ‘butter-like’ interlayer for solid state batteries which improves their performance, safety and density tenfold.
According to the Chalmers University of Technology and Xi’an Jiaotong University scientists, the new interlayer material can be easily applied onto the lithium metal anode in the battery – akin to how one spreads butter on a toast.
The collaboration between Chalmers professor Aleksandar Matic and Xi’an professor Song’s group, is based on a study conducted by Chalmers researcher Shizhao Xiong.
Xiong has been working for a long time on crafting a suitable interlayer to stabilize the interface for solid state battery.
Solid-state battery can be likened to a dry sandwich. A layer of the metal lithium acts as a slice of bread, and a ceramic substance is laid on top like a filling.
This hard substance is the solid electrolyte of the battery which transports lithium ions between the electrodes of the battery. But the ‘sandwich’ is so dry, it is difficult to keep it together.
That is all bound to change now with the Chalmers, Xi’an new material which is like a soft, spreadable, ‘butter-like’ substance, made of nanoparticles of the ceramic electrolyte LAGP, mixed with an ionic liquid.
The liquid encapsulates the LAGP particles and makes the interlayer soft and protective. The material, which has a similar texture to butter from the fridge, fills several functions and can be spread easily.
Although the potential of solid-state batteries is very well known, there hasn’t been any established way of making them sufficiently stable, especially at high current densities.
The Chalmers researchers thus see great potential in the development of this new interlayer.
Image and content: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers