National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Softbank Corp. have developed a lithium-air battery with an energy density over 500Wh/ kg - significantly higher than currently lithium-ion batteries. The research team also confirmed that this battery can be charged and discharged at room temperature. In addition, the team found that the battery developed by the team shows the highest energy densities and best cycle life performances. These results signify a major step toward the practical use of lithium-air batteries.

This research team had previously developed original battery materials that significantly increase the performance of lithium-air batteries in ALCA-SPRING-supported research. The team then developed a technique to fabricate high-energy-density lithium-air cells at the NIMS-SoftBank Advanced Technologies Development Center. Finally, the team created a new lithium-air battery by combining these new materials and the fabrication techniques.

Figure. (a) New materials for lithium-air batteries developed by ALCA-SPRING project. (b) Cell fabrication technique developed by the NIMS-SoftBank Advanced Technologies Development Center. (c) Demonstration of stable discharge/charge cycles of lithium-air batteries with energy density over 500Wh/kg operated at the room temperature. (Photo: NIMS)

The team is currently developing higher-performance battery materials and plans to integrate them into the newly developed lithium-air battery with the aim of greatly increasing the battery's cycle life. The team then plans to expedite efforts to put the battery into practical use at the NIMS-SoftBank Advanced Technologies Development Center.

This project was carried out by a research team led by Shoichi Matsuda (Senior Researcher, NIMS), Manai Ono (Postdoctoral Researcher, NIMS), Shoji Yamaguchi (Specialist Staff, NIMS) and Kohei Uosaki (Research Fellow, NIMS; also Director, NIMS-SoftBank Advanced Technologies Development Center). This work was mainly supported by the JST ALCA-SPRING program and the NIMS-SoftBank Advanced Technologies Development Center.

Lithium-air batteries have the potential to be the ultimate rechargeable batteries: They are lightweight and high capacity, with theoretical energy densities several times that of currently available lithium-ion batteries. Because of these potential advantages, they may find use in a wide range of technologies, such as drones, electric vehicles, and household electricity storage systems.

For more information, contact Shoichi Matsuda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 81-29-860-4637.