Solid Electrolyte-Based Lithium Ion Batteries Are Safer
Lithium ion batteries are compact and efficient and they hold the key to the functioning of portable electronic devices including laptops and mobile phones. The conventionally used lithium ion batteries contain liquid electrolytes. The inflammable nature of these liquid electrolytes is responsible for the safety hazards associated with these batteries.
Yuan Yang, faculty member of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Columbia University, has developed a new modified version of the already available lithium ion-based batteries. The new batteries employ solid-state electrolytes. Yang and his team used the ice-templating procedure to develop solid ceramic electrolytes.
They started cooling an aqueous solution of ceramic particles from the bottom and then let the ice grow. Application of vacuum leads to the formation of ice templates. Conjunction of the ceramic particles with these templates via polymers finally leads to the formation of solid ceramic electrolytes.
The results of the said research study (funded by National Science Foundation MRSEC program) were published in the Nano Letters journal yesterday. According to the published article, the solid-state ceramic electrolyte developed was extremely conductive and flexible.
According to New Electronics, the complete solid-state batteries formed from them are comparatively safer and suitable for the development of portable electronic items like mobiles, laptops and electric vehicles. Furthermore, these solid-state batteries are highly flexible and bendable. This increased flexibility of the batteries makes them suitable for the development of flexible electronics.
Additionally, these batteries had high-energy density that can be directly translated into enhanced power output. Yang and his team members are proposing replacement of the graphite negative electrode layer with lithium metal for the development of full lithium battery prototypes, according to Phys.org.
According to EurekAlert, material science experts from various other research institutions have appreciated Yang's study. Hailiang Wang from Yale University said that the proposed prototype of full lithium battery is an extremely clever idea that can help in enhancing the performance of such composite electrolyte-based batteries. The highly optimistic results of the present study have paved the way for the development of safer and more efficient next generation of lithium ion batteries.