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Today: Jun 12, 2024

Solid-state battery breakthrough: fixing the biggest flaw in mind-blowing technology

1 min read

Researchers at Harvard have made a breakthrough in solid-state battery technology by developing a new type of battery that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte. This is in contrast to conventional lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries that use liquid or polymer gel electrolytes. Solid-state batteries have faced challenges in the past, such as flammability and limited voltage, which have hindered their widespread adoption. However, the Harvard team has created a small high-capacity battery that can undergo over 6,000 charge and discharge cycles while retaining up to 80% of its capacity. It charges fully in 10 minutes, surpassing the average smartphone. The technology has been licensed to Adden Energy, a Harvard spinoff company, but it is unclear when these batteries will be commercially available.

The biggest challenge with solid-state batteries has been dendrite formation, which can cause the battery to short out or catch fire. Dendrites are root-like structures that grow on the surface of the battery’s anode, ultimately penetrating the barrier separating the anode and cathode. The Harvard team has proposed a solution using multi-layer batteries that slow down dendrite buildup and prevent penetration. They have also experimented with using micro-sized silicon particles to address the problem. The team has successfully scaled up the technology to produce a smartphone-sized pouch cell battery.

This breakthrough in solid-state battery technology holds promise for the future of energy storage. It could lead to longer-lasting and more efficient energy systems that could revolutionize smartphones, computers, and transportation. However, further research and development are needed before these batteries become commercially available.