Silicon-Valley-based Ampcera announced a low-cost flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state batteries (SSBs). Unlike conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs) that include a flammable liquid or gel polymer electrolyte, SSBs use a safe SE and promise to double the driving range of electric vehicles when loaded with the same weight of batteries.
Performance and cost are the bottlenecks in the commercialization of SE technology and SSBs. To address them, Ampcera has been developing a scalable SE technology, and has filed multiple US patent applications and an international PCT patent application on its flexible SE membranes, a low-cost manufacturing method, and the corresponding SSBs. Some key features and benefits of this new technology are:
High-performance SE membranes, having a thickness down to 25 microns, room temperature lithium ionic conductivity >1 mS/cm, and stable against a lithium metal anode, would enable solid-state lithium metal batteries with an energy density of 500 Wh/kg.
The vertically integrated manufacturing from materials synthesis to battery cell assembly has significant cost advantages over competing technologies for SSBs, offering a solution to reduce the cost of SSBs to below $100 per kilowatt hour, which is considered a cost target for electric cars to be competitive economically with gasoline cars.
We are now expanding our team to scale up this technology and further integrate it in solid-state lithium battery cells. With increasing profits from sales and additional support from our investors and the US DOE SBIR program, Ampcera is committed to accelerating the commercial success of this technology in the coming years.—Dr. Hui Du, co-founder and CTO of Ampcera
Ampcera has already successfully commercialized a series of solid-state electrolyte materials, including sulfide compounds (e.g. Argyrodite, LGPS, LPS, LSPS, etc.); garnet structure oxides (e.g. LLZO with various dopants); and NASICON-type phosphate LAGP and LATP. These products are available in the forms of nano and micron-sized powders, ceramic membranes, and sputtering targets.