Li-based solid-state batteries are solvent-free devices that combine the traditional Li-ion battery cathodes with a Li-metal or Li-alloyed anode and a solid Li-ion conductor. The latter plays the twofold role of electrolyte and separator.
While the concept of solid-state batteries has been known for nearly 50 years, this research topic almost fell into oblivion due to the lack of highly conductive solid electrolytes. However, it was rekindled back in the 2010s with the discovery of superionic conductors; their conductivity equals that of today’s liquid electrolytes in Li-ion cells. Since then, solid-state batteries have re-emerged as promising next-generation batteries that may outperform today’s Li-ion technology in terms of safety and energy density.
Unlike organic solvent-based liquid electrolytes, solid electrolytes are non-flammable, which translates into safer devices. Moreover, the use of a Li-metal anode combined with bipolar current collectors enabling the battery stacking in series connection represents a significant boost in energy density. Notwithstanding the advantages, plenty of issues still call for a solution. Now the biggest challenges are related to the interface stability between components and to the use of Li anodes.
Our research in solid-state batteries is widely varied, covering both fundamental and practical aspects of the different battery components, the study of interfaces and the development of methodologies and research tools. We work in close collaboration with various RS2E labs to achieve the prototype all solid-state batteries within a 2-5 years period.