On March 9 in London, researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) presented a study on high-performance and durable semiconductor batteries to Nature Energy, one of the main scientific journals of the world.
Compared to widely used lithium-ion batteries, which use liquid electrolytes, solid state batteries support a higher energy density, which opens the door to greater capacities, and use solid electrolytes, which are clearly safer. However, lithium metal anodes which are frequently used in solid state batteries are prone to trigger the growth of dendrites1 which can produce unwanted side effects that reduce the life and safety of a battery.
To overcome these effects, Samsung researchers proposed to use, for the first time, a silver-carbon (Ag-C) composite layer as an anode. The team discovered that incorporating an Ag-C layer into a prototype pocket cell allowed the battery to support higher capacity, longer life and increased overall security. Measuring only 5 µm (microns) thick, the layer of ultra-thin Ag-C nanocomposite allowed the team to reduce the thickness of the anode and increase the energy density up to 900Wh / L. This also allowed them to make their prototype approximately 50% smaller in volume than a conventional lithium-ion battery.
This promising research should help spur the expansion of electric vehicles (EVs). The pocket cell prototype that the team has developed would allow an electric vehicle to travel up to 800 km on a single charge and has a lifespan of more than 1,000 charges.
As Dongmin Im, Master at SAIT’s Next Generation Battery Lab and project leader explained, “The product of this study could be a basic technology for safer, more efficient batteries of the future. Going forward, we will continue to develop and refine materials and technologies for manufacturing solid state batteries to take EV battery innovation to the next level. “
1 Dendrites are needle-shaped crystals that can develop on the anode of a battery during charging.