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X-ray Imaging Reveals Fracture of Solid-state Battery

Energy Storage of Solid-state Batteries

The solid-state battery is a brand-new battery design that uses all solid-state components and has attracted attention in recent years because solid-state batteries can store more energy while avoiding the safety challenges faced by liquid batteries. But it is very difficult to make a durable solid-state battery. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have used X-ray computed tomography (CT) to observe in real time how cracks are formed at the edges of the interface between the materials in the battery. These findings can help researchers find ways to improve energy storage equipment.
Matthew McDowell, an assistant professor at the George W Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering, said: Solid-state batteries may be safer than lithium-ion batteries and may store more energy. This is true for electric vehicles and even electric aircraft. ideal. Technically speaking, this is a fast-growing field and many companies are interested in it. In a typical lithium ion battery, lithium ions release energy when transferred between two electrodes (a cathode and an anode) through a liquid electrolyte.

Research Findings on Solid-state Batteries

In this study, the research team created a solid-state battery in which a solid ceramic disc is sandwiched between two pieces of solid lithium. The ceramic disc replaces the traditional liquid electrolyte. In collaboration with Christopher Saldana, an X-ray imaging expert and assistant professor at the George W Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech:
The researchers placed the battery under an x-ray microscope, charged and discharged it, looking for physical changes that indicated battery degradation. Over the course of a few days, a network of cracks slowly formed on the disk. Researchers have discovered that this type of breakage causes resistance to ion flow during the cycle. These are unwanted chemical reactions that occur at the interface, and people usually think that these chemical reactions are the cause of degradation. But what has been learned from this imaging is that in this particular material, the chemical reaction itself is not bad.
The bad thing is that the cell breaks, destroying the performance of the cell. The researchers pointed out that the observed battery aging may affect other types of solid-state batteries, so the results of the study may lead to the design of more durable interfaces. In ordinary lithium-ion batteries, the materials used determine how much energy can be stored. Pure lithium has the largest capacity, but it does not work well with liquid electrolytes. But if solid lithium and solid electrolyte can be used in combination, it will be the holy grail of energy density research.
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