How Do Solid-state Batteries Work? Working Principle

How Do Solid-state Batteries Work? Working Principle

This blog explains the working principle of solid-state batteries and the types of solid-state batteries.

In order to guarantee greater range, power, and ever-shorter charging times, the lithium battery industry is constantly developing new, high-performance technologies.

Solid-state battery technology may seem like the final frontier of technology in this sense, a solution being finalized that has all the potential to become the future of electric mobility. How then do solid-state batteries function? Let’s find out.

How Do Solid-state Batteries Work?

The mechanism for drawing electricity from solid-state batteries and lithium-ion batteries is remarkably similar. The electrodes are made of metal, and ions moving through the electrolyte between the cathode and the anode create electrical flow.

The electrolyte is solid, which is the main difference. Also, when the electrolyte is a liquid, there is a separator that separates the cathode from the anode, preventing the liquid on the cathode side from mixing suddenly with the liquid on the anode side. The separator, however, is not required when the electrolyte is solid.

The key to research into solid-state batteries is the discovery and/or development of solid-state materials. No solid-state material could allow ions to move around inside and generate a sufficient flow of electricity to the electrodes in the past.

How Do Solid-state Batteries Work? Working Principle

However, the discovery of such materials has accelerated the development of solid-state batteries. The ions will move freely in batteries if the electrolyte is switched from a liquid to a solid one, allowing for the development of batteries with greater capacity and output than lithium-ion batteries.

The Structure of a Solid-state Battery

A solid-state cell, on the other hand, has an entirely different internal structure since all of its components are solids. While in traditional lithium batteries, the electrolyte is a liquid, solid-state cells are formed of:

  • A cathode (or positive electrode), which can be made with the same compounds as a lithium-ion battery (eg. LFP, NMC, LMO, etc)
  • A separator, generally ceramic or solid polymer, which also works as the electrolyte
  • An anode made of lithium metal (pure lithium)

The solid-state separator acts both as the separator between the anode and cathode and as the electrolyte. It, therefore, becomes the medium through which the ions move and also has electric insulating properties and is a mechanical separator between the anode and cathode.

The fact that there is this solid, resistant support allows the removal of the graphite structure on the anode part and ensures that lithium metal accumulates directly on the anode (there are also semi-solid solutions where the electrolyte is a gel).

Types of Solid-state Batteries

How Do Solid-state Batteries Work? Working Principle

Solid-state batteries are broadly classified into “bulk” and “thin-film” types depending on the manufacturing method, with the amount of energy they can store differing.

Characteristics of Bulk Solid-state Batteries

substances made of powder, granular material, etc.) are used as the materials of the electrodes and electrolytes. Large-capacity batteries that can store a lot of energy are a reality. It is anticipated that they will primarily be utilized for big items like electric vehicles.

Characteristics of Thin-film Solid-state Batteries

These batteries are made by stacking a thin-film electrolyte on the electrodes in a vacuum state. Since they can’t produce a lot of capacity due to the small amount of energy stored. Long cycle life and ease of manufacturing are two benefits, though. They can be used in tiny devices like sensors because of their small size.

Conclusion: How Do Solid-state Batteries Work?

Solid-state batteries are less flammable, quicker to charge, lighter, and more powerful because the electrolyte gel is replaced with a solid substance like ceramic or glass. They are still in the development stage and are still expensive to produce. Companies are investing billions in the development of this new technology, so this may soon change.


What is the Problem With Solid-state Batteries?

However, a major problem that solid-state lithium-ion batteries face is branchlike metallic filaments known as dendrites, which can build up on the surface of the solid lithium metal anode. These have the ability to pierce the solid electrolyte and make contact with the other electrode, resulting in a short circuit.

What Materials Do Solid-state Batteries Use?

All-solid-state cells share a lot of similarities with liquid electrolyte cells in terms of their cellular chemistry. Carbon, titanates, Li-alloys, and metallic lithium make up the anode materials. Li-based oxides (LCO, NCA), phosphates (LFP), vanadium oxide, and future microstructural 5 V materials make up the cathode materials.

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