New Solid Electrolytes for Optimised Lithium-Ion Batteries
Ceramic solid electrolytes could replace liquid electrolytes in batteries in the future. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM), suitable chemical compounds have now been investigated.
Dr Daniel Mutter from Fraunhofer IWM researched the chemical composition of ceramic solid electrolytes so that they can be used in lithium-ion batteries. With the help of atomistic simulations he was able to identify several combinations of chemical elements for NZP ceramics. NZP ceramics enable the existence of migration paths along which lithium ions can easily travel. The advantage of solid electrolytes is that they pose a much lower risk of explosion, and that, in the event of damage, no acid is released.
"We can potentially combine these particularly promising solid ceramic electrolytes with very efficient lithium-metal anodes, which is not possible with the liquid electrolytes in use today because these react violently with metallic lithium and damage the battery in the process," explains Dr Mutter. The new combination of chemical elements is, according to Mutter, abundantly available in the earth's crust in Europe and is relatively easy to extract. The new batteries have a shorter charging time combined with longer operation and reduced weight. The article "Computational analysis of composition-structure-property-relationships in NZP-type materials for Li-ion batteries" was published in the "Journal of Applied Physics".