Solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes, instead of the liquid or polymer electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries.
The technology is a proposed alternative to conventional lithium-ion battery technology.
- 1 History
- 2 Materials
- 3 Use
- 4 Disadvantages
- 5 Advantages
- 6 Alternatives
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Michael Faraday discovered the solid electrolytes silver sulfide and lead(II) fluoride, which laid the foundation for solid-state ionics. High performance batteries are considered to be solid-state ionic devices.
In the late 1950s, efforts were made to develop a solid-state battery. The first solid-state batteries, which utilized silver ion conducting electrolytes, had low energy density and cell voltages, in addition to very high internal resistance. A new class of solid state electrolyte, developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1990s, was later incorporated into certain thin film lithium-ion batteries, which are considered to be a form of solid state battery.
In 2013, researchers at University of Colorado Boulder announced the development of a solid-state lithium battery, with a solid composite cathode based upon an iron-sulfur chemistry, that promised higher energy capacity. In 2014, researchers at Sakti3 announced a solid-state electrolyte lithium-ion battery, and claimed higher energy density for lower cost. The company was acquired by Dyson in the following year.
In 2017, John Goodenough, the co-inventor of Li-ion batteries, unveiled a new solid-state battery, using glass electrolytes and an alkali-metal anode consisting of lithium, sodium or potassium, which is not possible with conventional batteries.
In 2018, Solid Power announced it had received $20 million in funding for a small manufacturing line to produce all-solid-state, rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. The line will be able to produce batteries with about 10 megawatt hours of capacity per year.
Potential use in electric vehicles
Currently, hybrid and plug-in electric cars use a variety of battery technologies, including Li-ion, Nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), Lead–acid, and Electric double-layer capacitor (or ultracapacitor), with many car makers adopting Li-ion technology for their EV offerings. A number of car makers and other companies, however, are looking into developing or using solid-state batteries due to the advantages described below.
Toyota announced in 2014 its solid-state battery development efforts. In 2017, the company announced the deepening of a decades-long partnership with Panasonic, which will include a collaboration on solid-state batteries. Volkswagen announced a $100 million investment in QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup that spun out of Stanford. Other car makers developing solid-state battery technologies include BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, and Nissan.
Other companies are also developing solid-state battery for automotive applications. Dyson, a company known for manufacturing household appliances, announced in 2017 that it plans to launch an electric car by 2020. Two years prior to the announcement, Dyson bought Sakti3, a company researching solid-state batteries. Fisker Automotive claims its solid-state battery technology will be ready for "automotive-grade production" in 2023. NGK, a company known for spark plugs, is developing ceramic-based solid state batteries, utilizing its expertise in the area of ceramics.
A Chinese company, Qing Tao, started a production line of solid-state batteries. 
Solid-state batteries are traditionally expensive to make and current manufacturing processes are noted to be immune to economies of scale. It was estimated in 2012 that, based on then-current technology, a 20 Ah solid-state battery cell would cost US$100,000, and a high-range electric car would require 800 to 1,000 of such cells. Cost is noted to be a factor that has impeded the adoption of solid-state batteries in certain areas, such as smartphones.
Temperature and Pressure Impacts
Meanwhile, solid-state batteries with ceramic electrolytes require high pressure to maintain contact with the electrodes. Solid-state batteries with ceramic separators may break from mechanical stress due to their rigid nature.
Dendrite Formation and Growth in Lithium (Li) Metal Anodes
Solid lithium (Li) metal anodes in solid-state batteries are replacing graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries for higher energy densities, safety, and faster recharging times as mentioned below in the advantages section. One disadvantage of using solid Li metal as anodes is the formation and the growth of Li dendrite due to the reactivity of the Li metal.
The dendrite mentioned above are commonly formed during electrodeposition of metals. In particular, the lithium dendrites form during repeated charge and discharge cycles. This is because during the cycles, lithium ions in the solid electrolyte combine with electrons at the surface of the lithium anode as the battery charges - forming a layer of lithium metal. Ideally, the lithium deposition would occur evenly on the anode while the dendrite grows towards the cathode. However, the metal depositions on tip of protrusion yielding structures that grow like a needle across the electrolyte and/or separator.
Problems with Dendrites
Li dendrites will penetrate the separator that is placed between the anode and the cathode to prevent short circuits. Penetrating the separator is very dangerous and causes severe safety issues from possible overheating, fires, or explosions from thermal runaway propagation. Li dendrites also induce a low Coulombic efficiency - thereby decreasing the practicality of Li metal batteries.
Preventing/Alleviating Dendrite Growth
Stable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) was found to be the most effective strategy to inhibit dendrite growth and achieve higher cycling performance. Although using solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) to prevent dendrite growth seems promising, future research in the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI)-like interface layer between Li and SSEs is still needed. A 2018 research found that nanoporous ceramic separators block Li dendrite growths up to critical current densities - proven by the lack of sudden voltage drops as a sign of metal penetration through separator.
Solid-state battery technology is believed to be capable of higher energy density (2.5x), because of their tolerance to higher temperatures, avoiding the use of materials in current batteries that may be dangerous or toxic.
Because most liquid electrolytes are considered to be flammable, solid-state batteries are believed to be safer. As fewer safety systems are needed, a more compact battery is possible, improving energy and power densities.
Solid-state battery technology is also believed to allow for faster recharging for electric cars. In addition, higher voltage and longer cycle life is possible with solid-state batteries.
There have been efforts in researching hybrid battery technologies that utilize solid and liquid electrolytes together. One such battery was unveiled in 2015. Samsung SDI and LG Chem are also reportedly developing hybrid batteries.
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Solid state ionic devices such as high performance batteries...
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Researchers have tried to get around these problems by using an electrolyte made out of solid materials, such as some ceramics.
- See glass battery for further details on a battery design that utilizes glass electrolytes
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