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Remarkable Lithium-Metal Cell with Significant Density

Sep, 2021

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HIU scientists aim to create an exceptionally high energy density with good stability using a mixture of a nickel-rich cathode and an ionic liquid electrolyte.

A team of scientists from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has discovered a solution for the current low power lithium batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are most common solution for powering various electronics, such as laptops, electric vehicle, and smartphones, but it doesn’t take long for them to reach their limit. Even if they’re known for high energy density, stability is still a problem because of the material used in it.

According to a study published in Joule, scientist used a promising combination of substances to create a new lithium-ion battery that has an extremely high energy density. A cathode made of a cobalt-deficient and nickel-rich layer (NCM88) reaches high energy density and a normally used commercially available organic electrolyte (LP30). When the cathode reached a high energy density, the instability was soon caught and the storage capacity was reduced due to the battery cycle. The reason behind it was the electrolyte LP30. It does not go along other substances and causes damage in the structure.

To solve this, scientist used non-volatile, feebly flammable, dual-anion ionic liquid electrolyte (ILE) in the place of LP30. Using ILE on nickel rich cathode reduces structural modifications and protect the battery from electrochemical reactions that can be dangerous. The results were remarkable as reported. With this new structure, the lithium-ion battery demonstrated energy density of 560wh/kg, while today’s best lithium batteries have densities ranging from 250 to 300wh/kg. Looking at durability, the new battery design performed amazingly well.

The battery has storage capacity of 214 mAh/g in the cathode and retains around 88% of that across 1000 cycles. However, a lot more work needs to be done to translate these amazing results from lab scale batteries to the real world. But a battery that delivers such high energy density will change the game when it comes to electric transportation.

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