LG Energy Solution's corporate logo (LG Energy Solution)
South Korea’s leading battery maker LG Energy Solution announced Friday that the company and UC San Diego have co-developed a new solid-state battery that is safer and more durable than existing ones.
The research results have been published in Science, one of the top peer-reviewed academic journals, the company added.
According to LG Energy Solution, the new solid-state battery, which uses both a solid state electrolyte and an all-silicon anode, has shown positive results during initial rounds of tests.
LG Energy Solution said the new solid-state battery has delivered around 500 charge and discharge cycles, while maintaining a capacity retention of 80 percent in laboratory settings at room temperature.
The company said it was possible to increase the energy density of the new battery by 40 percent higher than the existing lithium-ion batteries.
Previously, existing solid-state batteries with high energy densities have often come with metallic lithium as an anode. But those had limits on battery charge rates and safety issues as they could be only charged at 60 degrees Celsius or higher.
Silicon anodes, which offer high energy density, caused issues when used in batteries as silicon anodes made batteries expand and contract when they charge and discharge.
To solve the issues, the joint research team eliminated the carbon and the binders that came with all-silicon anodes. The researchers also used micro-silicon, which is less expensive than more widely used nano-silicon.
In addition, the team removed the liquid electrolyte, which causes volume expansion when paired with the silicon anodes. The team used a sulfide-based solid electrolyte instead, which is found more stable in batteries with all-silicon anodes.
The company expects it will be possible to use the new battery in a wide range of applications when commercially launched, including grid storage to future mobility.
“With the latest finding, LG Energy Solution is much closer to realizing all-solid-state battery techniques, which would greatly diversify our battery product lineup,” said Kim Myung-hwan, president and chief procurement officer at LG Energy Solution.
Kim added LG Energy Solution would expand its solid-state battery research collaboration with UC San Diego.