Harvard researchers created a new type solid state battery using solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, rather than the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes in conventional lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries that power most current devices.
Solid-state batteries face many challenges that hinder their widespread use, such as flammability, limited voltage, poor performance, and structural flaws that have hindered their progress in the past.
A recent breakthrough allowed the team to create a small, postage-stamp-sized high-capacity battery capable of more than 6,000 charge-discharge cycles while retaining up to 80% capacity. It fully charges in just 10 minutes, outperforming the average smartphone, which typically lasts around 300-500 cycles.
The paper did not say if or when these batteries might be available, but the technology has been licensed to Adden Energy, a Harvard company founded by a SEAS assistant professor of materials science. Xin Liand three Harvard graduates.
Solid state batteries are not a new technology and were first developed in the 19th century. Even recent iterations pose a risk, as the formation of a dendrite on the anode surface can easily short out or catch fire. Dendrites can grow like roots, eventually breaking through the barrier separating the anode and cathode, causing damage.
A dendrite is formed during charging when lithium ions migrate from the cathode to the anode and stick to the surface of the anode through a process called plating. This coating acts like plaque on the teeth, creating an uneven surface that can even cause the battery to crack. During unloading, this coating must be removed, creating holes and gaps, increasing the chance of coating and the risk of damage.
The team previously proposed a solution: to create a multilayer battery with different materials sandwiched between the anode and cathode. However, this method only slows and accumulates the lithium dendrite and prevents penetration.
New research suggests a more effective approach using micro-sized silicon particles to solve the problem. Lisaid: “In our design, lithium metal wraps around a silicon particle, like a hard chocolate shell around a hazelnut core in a chocolate truffle.
While this method has worked, the team is exploring other materials, including silver, that could offer similar performance and be easier or cheaper to mass-produce.
The team successfully scaled the technology to produce a pouch battery the size of a smartphone, which is still in development but could lead to incredible advances in handheld electronics.
A Harvard research team's progress in advancing solid-state battery technology holds great promise for the future of energy storage.
A breakthrough in solving the long-term challenges associated with these batteries could pave the way for long-lasting and more efficient energy systems that could completely transform our phones, computers and even transportation, making energy safer, more powerful and longer lasting. reality.
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