An Australian-Japanese research team has conducted experiments on a novel electrode material, which exhibits remarkable stability within solid-state batteries.
One enduring issue with batteries, even in modern times, is their gradual deterioration in performance and capacity due to chemical wear and tear. This phenomenon is responsible for the noticeable decline in the battery life of devices like smartphones after just a few years of regular use. Electric vehicles also experience a similar wear and tear effect over time. However, researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia and Yokohama National University in Japan have made a promising discovery that holds the potential to address this issue in the future.
In their experiments, they explored the use of lithiated vanadium oxides with a disordered salt lattice structure as a potential option for the positive electrodes (cathodes) in solid-state batteries. When combined with an optimized electrolyte, this material not only achieved high energy densities of up to 750 watt-hours per kilogram (compared to around 120 Wh/kg in conventional lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars) but also demonstrated significant resistance to wear and tear.
In one specific test, an experimental solid-state battery utilizing a sulfite-based electrolyte maintained a charge density of 300 mAh/g even after undergoing 400 charge and discharge cycles. The limited shrinkage and expansion of the cathode, regardless of its charge state, played a crucial role in this achievement. Researchers believe that by further refining the electrolyte, they can develop a "dimensionally invariant" material.
According to Neeraj Sharma, one of the paper's co-authors, the absence of capacity loss after 400 charge cycles indicates the superior performance of this material when compared to traditional solid-state batteries with layered structures. This discovery has the potential to significantly reduce battery costs and pave the way for advanced electric vehicles with high performance.
Additionally, this breakthrough may address another challenge faced by electric cars the charging time. Naoaki Yabuuchi, the research leader, suggests that with further improvements in dimensionally stable materials, it's conceivable that future generations of electric cars could be charged in as little as five minutes, assuming the availability of high-power charging stations.
Source and additional information: https://www.nature.com
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