Alkali metal additives for lithium batteries -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Alkali metal additives found in the United States can prevent lithium dendrites -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Lithium metal battery growth dendrites (Columbia University)

Electric vehicles (EV) are crucial for achieving a sustainable energy-saving future, but one of the limitations of such vehicles is the lack of durable, high-energy density batteries to reduce the fuel demand in long-distance travel. At the same time, in the event of power failure or power grid failure, family life also faces this challenge. At present, there is no small and efficient battery on the market, which can supply power to the family for more than one night without electricity. The next generation of lithium battery will be a lightweight, durable and low-cost energy storage device that can bring innovation to the industry, but it still faces many challenges that hinder its commercialization.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

The important problem of this kind of battery is that although rechargeable lithium metal anode plays a key role in improving the performance of the new lithium battery, it is very easy to grow dendrites in the process of charging and discharging, and this microstructure will lead to short circuit, fire and even explosion of the battery.

According to foreign media reports, on November 4 local time, Columbia Engineering reported that they found that alkali metal additives such as potassium ions can prevent the diffusion of lithium dendrites in the battery. Researchers combined microscope, nuclear magnetic resonance (similar to MRI) and computational model to find that adding a small amount of potassium salt to the traditional lithium battery electrolyte will lead to a unique chemical reaction at the lithium/electrolyte interface.

Understanding the reactivity and structure of molecules on the surface of lithium metal anode by using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and computer simulation (Columbia University)

The team found that alkali metal additives inhibited the growth of this non-conductive compound (dendrite) on the lithium metal surface, which is different from the traditional electrolyte manipulation method, which focuses on the conductive polymer deposited on the metal surface. In this study, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was used for the first time to deeply characterize the surface of lithium metal, and proved the ability of this technology in designing new lithium metal battery electrolytes. In addition, the Viswanathan team of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Carnegie Mellon University also cooperated with Columbia University to supplement the research results of Columbia University by using the density functional theory calculation results.

Researchers said that commercial electrolyte is a mixture of carefully selected molecules. Using nuclear magnetic resonance and computer simulation technology, we can finally understand how this unique electrolyte formula improves the performance of lithium metal batteries at the molecular level. This discovery ultimately provides researchers with tools to optimize the electrolyte design and achieve stable lithium metal batteries.

At present, the team is testing alkali metal additives that can prevent the formation of harmful deposits on the surface of lithium metal, and testing more traditional additives that can promote the growth of conductive layer on the surface of lithium metal. In addition, researchers are also actively using nuclear magnetic resonance technology to directly measure the transmission rate of lithium ion through the surface layer.



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