Following development of a new fabrication technique, solid-state automotive lithium-ion batteries could be allowed to adopt nonflammable ceramic electrolytes employing the same production processes used for automobile batteries made with traditional liquid electrolytes.
Based on melt-infiltration, the technology developed by a team of materials science researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology uses electrolyte material. This material can be injected into porous albeit densely filled thermally stable electrodes.
Meanwhile, the one-step process generates composites of high density. These composites are based on capillary-driven, pressure-less injection of a molten solid electrolyte into permeable bodies, which includes electrode separator stacks with multiple layers.
In fact, the melting point of conventional solid state electrolytes can range between 700 degree Celsius and 1,000 degree Celsius. However, the operations are at much lower temperature range that depends on the composition of the electrolyte. At such low temperatures, fabrication of batteries is much faster and easier. This is because interestingly materials do not react at low temperatures. Moreover, the standard electrode assemblies, which include glue or binder can be stable in these temperature conditions.
The new technique is published in the journal Nature Materials.
In addition, the new technique could allow large automotive lithium-ion batteries to be made safer with the use of 100% solid-state nonflammable ceramic. The material replaces liquid electrolytes using the same manufacturing process for the manufacture of traditional liquid electrolyte batteries.
Importantly, the new manufacturing technology that awaits patent imitates low-cost production of commercial lithium-ion cells with liquid electrolytes. On the other hand, the technology uses solid state electrolytes that have low melting points, and are melted and injected into dense electrodes.