The battery development to continue advancing towards electric mobility does not cease. A group of researchers has put their hands to work on a solid-state silicon battery, and to their surprise, the stability reflected during the studies has been a pleasant impression that can be taken to a higher level.
Silicon has the ability to provide through its anode a high energy density; in fact, it can be 10 times higher than anodes formed by a graphite structure. However, each time it is mixed or combined with a liquid electrolyte, it suffers considerable degradation affecting performance.
Therefore, the researchers were surprised after successfully showing signs of stability above 60 degrees Celsius, allowing fast charging speeds at a low temperature. It is worth noting that solid-state batteries have always shown limitations on the recharge rate after using Lithium Metal anodes.
The nanostructure specialists who carried out the research at the University of San Diego were able to overcome up to 10 times the charging and discharging cycles of the silicon battery with a solid electrolyte in comparison with conventional Lithium batteries, since up to 500 times it fulfilled their function by providing 80% of the total capacity.
The success of this project is due in part to the replacement of the liquid electrolyte with a sulfur-based solid one, providing highly significant stability to silicon anode batteries. It was long thought that this would not be possible because of the interpretations of thermodynamics employed that failed to account for the kinetic stability of solid electrolytes. “We needed a totally different approach,” said Shirley Meng, Nanoengineering Professor at the University of San Diego.
“With this battery configuration, we are opening up a new territory for solid-state batteries employing alloy anodes like silicon. The result gives us exciting opportunities to meet market demands: batteries with higher volumetric energy, reduced costs, and safer,” said Darren HS Tan, Lead Author of the paper.
Written by | Ronald Ortega