Belgian nanoelectronics and digital tech firm Imec says it has made “an innovative type of solid-state lithium-ion battery” that is set to be a “contender” to power future fast-charging, long-haul vehicles.
The new battery tech achieved an energy density of 200 Wh/litre at a charging speed of 0,5C (two hours), Imec said.
Imec claimed the development, in cooperation with Belgian sustainable energy firm EnergyVille, is “a milestone on our roadmap to surpass wet Li-ion battery performance and reach 1000Wh/L at 2C by 2024”.
Principal scientist and programme manager for Imec, Philippe Vereecken, said: “Our results show that we can make solid-state batteries that have the potential to reach the capabilities of wet batteries, and this using manufacturing processes similar to those for wet batteries.”
“Today’s rechargeable Li-ion batteries have some room for improvement, but not enough to allow vehicles sufficient range and autonomy,” Vereecken said. “Imec’s researchers are working on a next generation of batteries, replacing the wet electrolyte with a solid, in order to increase the energy density of the cell.”
Imec said it recently developed a solid nanocomposite electrolyte “with an exceptionally high conductivity of up to 10 mS/cm and with a potential to increase this even further”.
Vereecken added: “With this new electrolyte, Imec has now made a prototype battery. The electrolyte was applied into the battery cell as a liquid precursor, and solidified afterwards. The prototype battery achieved a volumetric energy density of 200 Wh/L at a charging speed of 0,5C.”
“Our results show that we can make solid-state batteries that have the potential to reach the capabilities of wet batteries, and this using manufacturing processes similar to those for wet batteries,” Vereecken said.
“But unlike wet-batteries, our solid-state batteries will be compatible with metallic lithium anodes with a target of 1,000Wh/litre at a charging speed of 2C (half-an-hour). This, together with their longer lifetime and improved safety, makes them a promising compact battery technology for tomorrow’s long-range vehicles.”
Imec, which is based in Leuven, has distributed R&D centres at a number of Flemish universities and in the Netherlands, Taiwan, the US and China.