The results of recent studies carried out by an international research group that includes the University of Oxford and Nottingham and the University of Pisa show that lithium metal solid-state batteries (Li-SSBs) grant a high energy density and, in the future, they might be used in electric vehicles, making them even more sustainable from the environmental point of view, revolutionizing the electric mobility and freeing it from the dependence on materials like cobalt and nickel.
Li-SSBs are distinct from other batteries because they replace the flammable liquid electrolyte in conventional batteries with a solid electrolyte and use lithium metal as the anode (negative electrode). The use of the solid electrolyte improves the safety, and the use of lithium metal means more energy can be stored. The hindrance still present today concerns the scarce speed owing to the present catalysers.
«Progressing solid-state batteries with lithium metal anodes is one of the most important challenges facing the advancement of battery technologies. While lithium-ion batteries of today will continue to improve, research into solid-state batteries has the potential to be high-reward and a game-changer technology», said Dominic Melvin, a PhD student in the University of Oxford’s Department of Materials, one of the co-lead authors of the study.
The research pursues the creation of new classes of catalysers and the use of different materials versus the ones used until now.