Researchers Invent New Coatings Method To Make Metal Lithium Batteries More Stable

- Sep 11, 2019-

According to foreign media reports, researchers at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory published a study in Joule magazine that they invented a new coating that would make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and durable. This will lead the birth of the next generation of electric vehicles.

In laboratory tests, the coating significantly extends the life of the battery, and it also addresses combustion problems by greatly limiting the deposition of lithium through the separator between the positive and negative electrodes of the battery.

The researchers point out that metal lithium batteries are at least one-third more energy per pound than lithium-ion batteries and are very light because they use lightweight lithium as the positively charged end rather than heavier graphite. If metal lithium batteries are more reliable, from laptops to mobile phones, these portable electronic products can benefit, but the real source of income will be cars. The biggest resistance of electric vehicles is that batteries account for a quarter of the cost, which touches the core issue of electric vehicle production costs.

The capacity of traditional lithium-ion batteries has reached its limits, so it is critical to develop new batteries to meet the high energy density requirements of modern electronic devices.

Stanford University and SLAC's research team tested their coatings on a positively charged end of a standard metal lithium battery (called the anode), which typically formed a positive electrode. In the end, they combined the specially coated anode with other commercially available components to create a fully operational battery. After 160 cycles, their metal lithium battery still provides 85% of the energy in the first cycle. Ordinary metal lithium batteries will only release about 30% of the energy after so many cycles, even if they do not explode, the effect is not great.

This new coating prevents the formation of lithium by forming a molecular network that delivers charged lithium ions evenly to the electrodes. It prevents unwanted chemical reactions in these cells and reduces the accumulation of chemicals on the anode to prevent them from damaging the battery's ability to supply power.

The research team is currently improving its coating design to test batteries and increase capacity retention in more cycles.