imec, Panasonic develop highly conductive solid nanocomposite electrolyte

A new solid state electrolyte for lithium batteries, developed by Belgium’s imec and Japan’s Panasonic, has demonstrated li-ion conductivities of 3 to 10 mS/cm at room temperature, which is an exceptionally high conductivity for solid state electrolytes.

The partners, however, have a much more ambitious goal ahead to develop solid nanocomposite electrolyte materials towards 100mS/cm in the next few years, and thus make them suitable for fast-charging high-energy cells used in electric vehicles and electronics.

“One of the unique benefits of imec is that we can leverage our state-of-the-art semiconductor knowledge to solve challenges in other research domains such as smart energy,” stated Philippe Vereecken, principal member of technical staff and program manager at imec. “This is what we have done to develop a novel solid nanocomposite electrolyte (SCE) which is deposited from solution. The wet chemical preparation route allows the solid-state electrolyte to be casted into powder electrodes, where it solidifies while remaining mechanically pliable. This paves the way to batteries in flexible form factors.”

The 3 to 10 mS/cm Li-ion conductivities of 3 to 10 mS/cm is exceptionally high for solid electrolytes, in this case a mesoporous silica monolith functionalized with surface chemistry and ionic salts, applied via wet chemical coating.

“Moreover, using our new electrolyte technology, we have demonstrated rechargeable solid-state Li-ion batteries with lithium titanate (Li4Ti5O12) as negative electrode and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as positive electrode,” he added.