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New superionic glasses show promise as electrolytes for advanced lithium batteries

12 March 2014

A group led by Dr. Maria Braga at the University of Porto (Portugal) reports in the RSC’s Journal of Material Chemistry A journal on the potential for a novel type of superionic glasses for use as a solid electrolyte in advanced Lithium batteries. The material—evolved from an antiperovskite structure—shows the highest ionic conductivity ever reported for the Li-ion (25 mS cm−1 at 25 °C).

Three types of next generation batteries are currently being envisaged among the international community: metal-air batteries, multivalent cation batteries and all-solid-state batteries. These battery designs require high-performance, safe and cost effective electrolytes that are compatible with optimized electrode materials. Solid electrolytes have not yet been extensively employed in commercial batteries as they suffer from poor ionic conduction at acceptable temperatures and insufficient stability with respect to lithium-metal.

—Braga et al.

The glassy Li3-2xMxAO (in which M is a higher valent cation like Ca2+ or Mg2+ and A is a halide like Cl- or Br- or a mixture of halides) are inexpensive, light, recyclable, non-flammable and non-toxic.

They also present a wide electrochemical window (higher than 8 V) and thermal stability within the application range of temperatures.

Resources

  • M. H. Braga, J. A. Ferreira, V. Stockhausen, J. E. Oliveirad and A. El-Azabe (2014) “Novel Li3ClO based glasses with superionic properties for lithium batteries,” J. Mater. Chem. A doi: 10.1039/C3TA15087A

  • M. Helena Braga, Verena Stockhausen, Joana C.E. Oliveira and Jorge A. Ferreira (2013) “The Role of Defects in Li3ClO Solid Electrolyte: Calculations and Experiments” MRS Proceedings Volume 1526 doi: 10.1557/opl.2013.519

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Comments

Will it find an application in next generation EV or fixed e-energy storage batteries?

If so, what will be the impact?

Reading about chem advances is like the Lotto, it gives us all hope. But, we are still waiting for someone to put all these research facts together into a better working battery for EVs. I suspect it will be Tesla in 2017 out of their Giga Battery Factory.

I had hoped Nissan would be a bigger player in batteries especially since I purchase a 2011 Leaf.

This could be a major breakthrough.
I usually don't read details of battery tech articles, but this is intriguing: "wide electrochemical window (higher than 8 V)".
Does it mean the LiIon batteries (using these electrolytes) could be charged to 6-7 Volts, instead of current about 3.6 V?
From: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/06/kim-20130628.html
it looks like the conductivity of this solid electrolyte is comparable with liquid electrolytes and gels.
Or at least it could be used for high energy, lower power batteries (OK for BEVs, not for small battery PHEVs).

charged to 6-7 Volts, instead of current about 3.6 V?

No. that is a function of the anode and cathode chemistry. When using lithium with a manganese cathode it would be about 3.6v. The problem is an over potential in lithium air batteries of 1.5v. That means the electrolyte would have to stand more than a 5v potential during charging and most can not. This can, is what they are saying.

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