The project 3DACCESS, in which the Basque center takes part as a reference partner, aspires to generate a new solid-state lithium metal battery that offers higher performance.

CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in battery storage, thermal energy solutions, and hydrogen, and member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance-BRTA, is researching the application of advanced 3D ceramic materials on solid-state lithium metal batteries that allow an increase in energy density of the device and improve, at the same time, its security.

This work is framed within the project 3DPASSION, promoted by the Catalan center IREC in order to develop processing techniques of 3D ceramic, and specifically aspires to develop a solid-state battery that provides an energy density value close to the objectives set by the EU through the combination of a thin solid electrolyte, an active material that has a high voltage, without any cobalt, and a high-capacity anode, which has been naturally identified as metallic lithium.

In this context, CIC energiGUNE, “as a referent center on solid-state batteries”, leads the subproject 3DACCESS, as has assured Frederic Aguesse, Leader of the Research group of Advanced Electrolytes and Cell Integration in the Basque center. This subproject, funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation inside the call “R&D&I Challenges 2019” (Ref: PID2019-107106RB-C33), “it aligns with the science, technology and innovation strategy of the State as well as with the objectives of reducing emissions and the policies of use of critical raw materials of the EU, since it revolves around the development of clean, efficient and safe systems.

Up until now, the use of the cathode LNMO (lithium-manganese-nickel oxide) has been discouraged for its poor stability at high voltage of the liquid and polymeric electrolytes. 3DACCESS will address this challenge through the development of a new solid-state device structured on 3D, stable until 5V, and which exhibits high conductivities at an electrolyte level.

The creation of stable conductor interfaces between the active material and the electrolyte, thanks to the 3D processing, will be the key to success in the optimization of the composition of the cathode. This way, the cover of the electrode’s material will be adapted with a shock-absorbing layer in order to protect the active material during the processing and during the cycling. In consequence, the dense 3D ceramic will be the key component of the final electrochemical device.

The structure of the porous-dense-porous complex will maximize the contact area on the sides of the electrode, thus increasing the device’s energy, and will avoid the formation of dendrites thanks to the intermediate dense layer, which will allow to maintain its security. At CIC energiGUNE a few strategies will be explored for the processing of the 3D structure, such as the cold synthesizing. Moreover, different combinations of covering materials and ceramic electrolytes will be tested in order to guarantee stable chemical and electrochemical interfaces.

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