Present trends in device miniaturization and portability put strong requirements on energy storage devices with a high power to volume ratio.
All-solid-state battery technology has been in the news for a while, becoming increasingly relevant with the adoption of electric vehicles and the unending growth in usage of portable electronic devices.
Founded in 1881, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) is one of the highly respectable technology institutes in the world.
It stands at the forefront of research and higher education as the leading university for science and technology in Japan. Their researches have made a positive impact on the society through high-impact innovations.
Professor Ryoji Kanno, head of the research team (Credit: Tokyo Tech)
According to the Tokyo Tech press release, a team headed by Royji Kanno have discovered a low-cost approach to developing all-solid-state batteries. A paper on this research was published in Chemistry of Materials.
This development may revolutionize the product range of the battery industry. Affordable and efficient battery materials could help in scaling up battery technology for widespread use in electric transportation, communications and more.
Compared to common lithium-ion batteries that contain lithium ion conducting liquids, all-solid-state batteries of the future promise a series of advantages. The merits include improved safety and reliability, higher energy storage and longer life cycles.
The atomic arrangement of the new material named LSSPS.
Two representations of the new germanium-free material with the structure Li10.35[Sn0.27Si1.08]P1.65S12 (Li3.45[Sn0.09Si0.36]P0.55S4
(Image credit: Tokyo Tech)
The discovery of ‘superionic’ conductors, solid crystals which enable the movement of ions, is sparking the development of these dream all-solid-state batteries.
But, you will have to wait as its design relies on the use of rate metals like germanium, which makes it too expensive for large-scale applications.
The researchers substituted germanium with two elements that are readily available- tin and silicon. Ease of fabrication and higher chemical stability make these materials suitable to meet many industries and consumer needs.
In their latest study, the researchers kept the framework structure of LGPS, and finely adjusted the ratio and positioning of the tin, silicon and other constituent atoms.
Kanno envisions that in addition to meeting current battery needs across all sectors, all-solid-state batteries will expand the possibilities of responding to new user needs arising from the Internet of Things (IoT) and the shift towards smart systems, as well as powering robots, drones and space and aircraft technologies among others in future. (Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology)