Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new €16-million cluster—FestBatt—to foster basic research into solid-state batteries. Fourteen scientific institutions have joined FestBatt; the competence cluster is coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU).
Solid-state batteries are fireproof and might enable larger storage capacities and quicker charging processes in the future.—Professor Helmut Ehrenberg of KIT’s Institute for Applied Materials (IAM), a member of FestBatt
This type of battery could ensure safe electric mobility with large ranges and might also prove to be very suitable for stationary applications like storage systems for power from private photovoltaics facilities. But to reach these goals, there is still considerable need for research, Ehrenberg emphasizes.
FestBatt, coordinated by Professor Jürgen Janek at JLU, unites the efforts of all German institutions conducting research into solid electrolytes and solid-state batteries, including universities and research centers of the Helmholtz Association and the Fraunhofer Society.
Several KIT institutes are involved in the cluster and have been granted funds with a total amount of €3.95 million for the first project phase of three years.
Within FestBatt, fundamental knowledge on solid-state batteries will be developed. The scientists want to understand and describe their functioning in detail and plan to develop operable prototypes. The competence cluster also is to lay the foundation for the establishment and sustainable further development of an internationally leading and competitive battery cell production sector in Germany.
FestBatt consists of five joint projects: three materials and two methods platforms. The first project phase will focus on the reproducible production of appropriate solid electrolytes.
Selection of compatible materials is essential for later cell design. The electrochemical characterization made here yields most important material-specific parameters and enables selection of efficient combinations of materials.—Professor Ellen Ivers-Tiffée, who is involved in the KIT-coordinated methods platform for characterization together with Ehrenberg.
KIT cooperation partners come from Jülich, Gießen, and Marburg. KIT is also active in all other platforms of the competence cluster. Professor Britta Nestler (IAM), Dr. Michael Selzer (IAM), and Professor Arnulf Latz from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU, a Helmholtz Institute established by KIT in cooperation with Ulm University) participate in another methods platform that covers theories and data relating to the solid-state battery.
Professor Michael Hoffmann (IAM) is active in a materials platform to study various oxides. Within the framework of another materials platform, Professor Patrick Théato of KIT’s Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP) and Professor Stefano Passerini and Dr. Dominic Bresser (HIU) develop new polymer-based solid electrolyte systems and study them with respect to their suitability for solid-state batteries, including subsequent upscaling of the most promising systems and production of lithium-polymer batteries.