A solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries.
The technology is a proposed alternative to conventional lithium-ion battery technology that use an aqueous electrolyte.
Michael Faraday discovered the solid electrolytes silver sulfide and lead(II) fluoride, which laid the foundation for solid-state ionics. High performance batteries are considered to be solid-state ionic devices.
In the late 1950s, efforts were made to develop a solid-state battery. The first solid-state batteries utilized a silver ion conducting electrolyte, had low energy density and cell voltages, and high internal resistance. A new class of solid-state electrolyte, developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1990s, was later incorporated into certain thin film lithium-ion batteries.
In 2013, researchers at University of Colorado Boulder announced the development of a solid-state lithium battery, with a solid composite cathode based upon an iron-sulfur chemistry, that promised higher energy capacity.
In 2014, researchers at Sakti3 announced a solid-state electrolyte lithium-ion battery, and claimed higher energy density for lower cost. Toyota announced its solid-state battery development efforts and holds the most patents.
In 2017, John Goodenough, the co-inventor of Li-ion batteries, unveiled a solid-state battery, using a glass electrolyte and an alkali-metal anode consisting of lithium, sodium or potassium. In 2017 Toyota announced the deepening of a decades-long partnership with Panasonic, including a collaboration on solid-state batteries. Other car makers developing solid-state battery technologies include BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company and Nissan. Dyson, a company known for manufacturing household appliances, announced plans to launch an electric car by 2020. Two years prior to the announcement, Dyson bought Sakti3, a company researching solid-state batteries. Fisker Automotive claims its solid-state battery technology will be ready for "automotive-grade production" in 2023. NGK, a company known for spark plugs, is developing ceramic-based solid state batteries, utilizing its expertise in the area of ceramics.
In 2018, Solid Power announced it had received $20 million in funding for a small manufacturing line to produce all-solid-state, rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. The line will be able to produce batteries with about 10 megawatt hours of capacity per year. Volkswagen announced a $100 million investment in QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup that spun out of Stanford. Chinese company Qing Tao started a production line of solid-state batteries.
In 2019, Tesla acquired solid-state battery and ultracapacitor maker Maxwell. The company claimed to offer energy density of over 300 Wh/kg in demonstration cells. The cell retained nearly 90% capacity retention after nearly 1,500 cycles.
Hybrid and plug-in electric cars use a variety of battery technologies, including Li-ion, Nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), Lead–acid, and Electric double-layer capacitor (or ultracapacitor), led by Li-ion.
Solid-state batteries are traditionally expensive to make and manufacturing processes are noted to be immune to economies of scale. It was estimated in 2012 that, based on then-current technology, a 20 Ah solid-state battery cell would cost US$100,000, and a high-range electric car would require 800 to 1,000 of such cells. Cost has impeded the adoption of solid-state batteries in other areas, such as smartphones.
Temperature and pressure impactsEdit
Solid lithium (Li) metal anodes in solid-state batteries are replacing graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries for higher energy densities, safety, and faster recharging times. Solid Li metal as anodes experience the formation and the growth of Li dendrites due to Lithium's reactivity.
Dendrites commonly form during electrodeposition during charge and discharge. Li ions in the electrolyte combine with electrons at the anode surface as the battery charges - forming a layer of lithium metal. Ideally, the lithium deposition occurs evenly on the anode. However, if the growth is uneven, structures can grow like a needle across the electrolyte and/or separator.
Li dendrites penetrate the separator that is placed between the anode and the cathode to prevent short circuits. Penetrating the separator creates a short circuit with associated overheating, fires, or explosions from thermal runaway propagation. Li dendrites reduce coulombic efficiency.
Stable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) was found to be the most effective strategy for inhibiting dendrite growth and achieving higher cycling performance. Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) may prevent dendrite growth, although this remains speculative. A 2018 study identified nanoporous ceramic separators that block Li dendrite growth up to critical current densities.
They may avoid the use of dangerous or toxic materials found in commercial batteries.
Because most liquid electrolytes are flammable and solid electrolytes are nonflammable, solid-state batteries are believed to be safer. Fewer safety systems are needed, further increasing energy density.
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Researchers have tried to get around these problems by using an electrolyte made out of solid materials, such as some ceramics.
- See glass battery for further details on a battery design that utilizes glass electrolytes
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