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Solid-state battery built like Ferrero Rocher can double current 15-year EV battery lifespan

Harvard's solid-state battery breakthrough schematics (image: Nature)
Harvard's solid-state battery breakthrough schematics (image: Nature)
After the solid-state battery from the VW subsidiary PowerCo that can hold 95% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles, now comes a Harvard research breakthrough that tops its longevity. The new solid-state battery discovery retains 80% capacity after 6,000 cycles.

A solid-state battery that can offer practically decades long lifespan of 6,000 charge cycles and can top up in 10 minutes has been developed by a team of Harvard researchers led by Xin Li, Associate Professor of Materials Science. The prototype they built has the lithium component engulfing a silicon particle, "like a hard chocolate shell around a hazelnut core," says Li in a Ferrero Rocher-inspired comment.

Instead of the nasty dendrites that form in the lithium surface of solid-state batteries and go all the way into the solid electrolyte and to the other electrode, shorting the battery, the researchers managed to restrict the lithiation reaction to the very surface of the electrode. This drastically increased the prototype battery's longevity and charging speed abilities.

According to the researchers, "rather than strong Li–Si alloying at the conventional solid–liquid interface, the lithiation reaction of micrometre-sized Si can be significantly constricted at the solid–solid interface so that it occurs only at thin surface sites of Si particles due to a reaction-induced, diffusion-limiting process."

By using computational approach to predict material interaction, the Harvard team managed to achieve "rapid cycling of Li metal at high areal capacity, which is important in regard to solid-state battery application." The technology has been licensed to the Harvard team's applied battery research spinoff Adden Energy, which is now developing a phone-sized solid-state battery with the discovery.

According to Tesla's co-founder JB Straubel, whose company now recycles up to 10 GWh of battery capacity a year, current EV batteries have a lifespan of about 15 years. The longevity benchmark that current EV batteries are tested against can be surpassed several times by Harvard's new solid-state battery discovery, offering a greatly increased device duration and shaking up the used EV market in the future. 

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 01 > Solid-state battery built like Ferrero Rocher can double current 15-year EV battery lifespan
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-01-16 (Update: 2024-01-16)