The race to develop solid-state batteries for electric vehicles has begun long ago, but no manufacturer has yet succeeded in making them viable on a large scale. Now, a team of researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) has presented their latest advances on these batteries with which it promises more autonomy in the vehicle, more safety, and higher energy density.
Unlike lithium-ion batteries that are used today, solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes, which allow increase energy density and have safer batteries. Samsung researchers wanted to address one of the main problems facing conventional lithium-ion batteries: lithium metal anodes used in solid-state batteries tend to cause the growth of dendrites during recharging, which reduce a battery’s lifespan and safety.
To solve this problem, Samsung researchers first proposed using a composite layer of silver and carbon (Ag-C), for the first time, on the anode. They found that by using such an Ag-C layer in a battery prototype allowed it to increase its capacity, service life, and overall safety. With a thickness of only 5 microns, an ultrathin silver-carbon nanocomposite layer made it possible to reduce the thickness of the anode and increase the energy density up to 900Wh/L. This also made it possible to make your prototype about 50% smaller in volume than using a conventional lithium-ion battery.
The team has developed a prototype battery that would allow an electric car to travel up to 800 km (500 miles) on a single charge and features a cycle life of over 1,000 charges.
The new battery technology is intended to represent a major advance; however, it should be noted that it is still just a prototype and needs to continue working on it. But researchers already see it as the cornerstone for a safer, more compact and powerful future battery.
“The product of this study could be a seed technology for safer, high-performance batteries of the future. Going forward, we will continue to develop and refine all-solid-state battery materials and manufacturing technologies to help take EV battery innovation to the next level,” explained Dongmin Im, Master at SAIT’s Next Generation Battery Lab and the leader of the project.
The study on the latest advances in solid-state electrolyte batteries is published in the journal Nature Energy.