Enhancing battery safety and durability, reducing form factor, and increasing range remain priorities for furthering the widespread enablement of electric vehicles (EVs). Solid-state batteries have garnered growing interest for their potential in these areas, yet technical limitations negatively impacting battery efficiency have hindered its commercial viability.

Researchers have developed a higher-power, thin film lithium-ion battery as a more durable and energy-dense solution for EVs and electronics. By leveraging a lithium-stable, higher-conductivity electrolyte — lanthanum lithium tantalate (Li5La3Ta2O12) — and inexpensive metal foil substrates, this technology enables a solid-state lithium battery with high power in a very small form factor. Researchers have demonstrated 15 to 1000× improved conductance, enhanced power density, and wider temperature range over industry standard LiPON thin films.

The new materials and battery geometries overcome limitations such as stress-induced film fracturing to deliver compact, robust, and higher-energy-density batteries that could revolutionize the EV market with improved driving range, battery life, and reduced cost per kilowatt hour. A thin and flexible battery substrate also presents advantages for reel-to-reel manufacturing, flexible electronics, and applications requiring low profiles.

For more information, contact Sandia’s Intellectual Partnerships Office at ip@ sandia.gov or visit ip.sandia.gov.

Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2020 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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