Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have made a significant breakthrough in solid-state batteries, a crucial technology for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. By making a small adjustment, they were able to achieve remarkable performance improvements.
Unlike conventional batteries that use flammable liquid electrolytes, solid-state batteries employ a solid electrolyte. During the battery’s charging or operation, ions move between the electrodes through the electrolyte. The researchers discovered a new technique for pressing the solid electrolyte, which effectively eliminates tiny air pockets that impede ion flow. As a result, the battery can charge twice as fast.
The lead researcher at ORNL, Marm Dixit, explained that their approach involved heating the press after spreading the electrolyte on it and allowing the electrolyte to cool under pressure. This process resulted in a material that exhibited conductivity nearly 1,000 times greater than before. Dixit emphasized that they were working with the same material but had improved battery performance through a modified manufacturing process.
These findings have opened up possibilities for scaling up the production of solid electrolytes at an industrial level while ensuring superior control over their internal structure. This advancement paves the way for more reliable batteries with enhanced performance.
The research has been published in the esteemed journal ACS Energy Letters.
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory