New Li-ion superconductor could lead to safer batteries

Researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) claim to have developed a sulfide-based superionic conductor—a material with high ion transport properties corresponding to ion conductivity of 10 to 100 mS/cm at room temperature—that can be used as a high-performance solid electrolyte in all-solid-state batteries. 

All-solid-state battery technology could solve the safety issues related to conventional Li-ion batteries. However, unlike a liquid electrolyte, in which lithium ions can freely move, a solid electrolyte has a lower Li-ion conductivity because the movement of ions is confined within a rigid solid lattice.  

According to a paper published in Nano Letters, this new material delivers Li-ion conductivity of 10.2 mS/cm at room temperature, which is comparable to that of liquid electrolytes used for typical Li-ion batteries. The research team also reported a new synthesis technology that can reduce the processing time of existing synthesis technologies by more than one third. They suggest that this technology will accelerate the mass production of superionic solid electrolyte materials and contribute to the commercialization of all-solid-state batteries.

According to the team’s lead researcher, Dr. Hyoungchul Kim, “There is great significance in developing a high-performance solid electrolyte material with excellent mass productivity. Synthesis of superionic sulfide materials through a rapid process is very likely to be commercialized, and can be widely used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems as a solid electrolyte in the future.”

Source: KIST