A New Breakthrough in Lithium Metal Batteries with Double Life

Date: 2018-12-04

According to foreign media reports, research published in the November 12 issue of Nature Energy by Penn State suggests that more durable, faster charging and safer lithium-metal batteries are possible. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the researchers developed a three-dimensional cross-linked polymer sponge that could be attached to the metal coating of the battery anode.

Wang Donghai, professor of mechanical engineering at Pennsylvania State University and chief researcher of the project, said: "The project aims to develop the next generation of lithium-metal batteries. Trial use of lithium metal in batteries has lasted for decades, but some basic problems hinder the development of lithium metal batteries.

Under additional strain, if electric vehicles need fast charging method, lithium ion batteries (Li) are vulnerable to dendrite growth (needle structure), which can shorten the cycle life of batteries, and may cause fire or explosion and other security threats. Professor Wang said: "Our method is to use polymers at the lithium metal interface. The material is a porous sponge, which can not only transfer lithium ions, but also inhibit lithium ion deterioration. Even at low temperature and rapid charging conditions, it can also prevent dendrites from growing on the metal coating.

The research will make stronger and more stable metal battery technology an integral part of everyday life. Professor Wang said: "In electric vehicles, the metal battery can increase the range of its endurance, and it can also provide a longer life battery for smartphones."

In the future, the research team will explore its practical application in large batteries to verify the advantages and feasibility of the technology. Professor Wang said: "We hope to promote the development of such technologies. Through this research, we are sure to double the service life of lithium-metal batteries."

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