Recently, we hear about solid-state batteries, which have some advantages over conventional batteries,media New Atlas reported. While they are not entirely up to daily use, a newly developed butter-like substance can help change that. Typically, lithium-ion batteries consist of two opposite electrodes (anode and cathode) separated by a liquid electrolyte. Lithium ions flow back and forth between the two electrodes through a liquid electrolyte during the charging and discharge cycle.
Unfortunately, this electrolyte is often environmentally unfriendly and can be challenging when damaged or treated. In addition, they are quite flammable and therefore ignited during an overheating process known as heat out of control. Solid-state batteries try to solve these problems by replacing liquid electrolytes with environmentally friendly, non-flammable solid ceramic electrolytes. But there is still a problem because the interface between the anode and this material may be chemically unstable, limiting the speed at which ions pass through.
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China are trying to solve the problem with their new laminated slurry. The texture is similar to “butter in the refrigerator”, which is applied to the surface of the metal lithium anode, forming a transition layer between it and the solid electrolyte. It consists of nanoparticles of electrolyte material — a kind of ceramic called LAGP — and ionic liquids.
When added to an existing solid-state battery, it was found that the slurry could increase the current density by 10 times. “This mezzanine significantly improves the stability of the battery cell and is therefore able to withstand higher current densities,” said Shizhao Xiong, a researcher at Chalmers Polytechnic University. “It’s also important to apply soft material to the lithium metal anode in the battery — just like butter on a sandwich. “
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.