Li-ion battery co-inventor develops low-cost solid-state battery

A team of scientists led by the 94-year-old co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery has developed an all-solid-state battery with promising properties for large-scale deployment.

According to 94-year-old John Goodenough of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas, his team’s invention solves many problems of current batteries, including costs, safety, energy density, lifespan and speed of charging and discharge.

The energy density of the professor’s solid-state battery cells is said to be three times higher than current li-ion variants, support a large number of charge and discharge cycles and can be recharged in minutes. In addition, the battery is cheap to produce, is built from durable materials and also functions at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius, which is a problem with other solid-state battery variants.

The big advantage of solid-state batteries is that they contain no liquids, so they do not leak. In addition, the risk of explosions is reduced because lithium dendrites, or a branching network, do not form when the batteries are charged quickly.

The basis of the battery is the use of a glass electrolyte. This makes it possible to use an anode of alkali metals such as lithium, sodium or potassium without dendrite formation. The researchers propose, for example, to use the cheap sodium.

The scientists have published their work in the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science.