Kang Xu on Fluorinating Interphases

Kang Xu, lead author.

“What is the most ideal [solid-electrolyte interphase] SEI or interphase that would enable the next generation of the battery chemistries?”

It was a question that had been lingering in the minds of Kang Xu, fellow of US Army Research Laboratory and team leader; Chunsheng Wang, University of Maryland chemical and biomolecular engineering department professor, as well as one of the most cited researchers of 2018; and Ying Shirley Meng, University of California, San Diego nanoengineering professor, fellow of The Electrochemical Society, and associate director of the International Battery Association.

Together, the trio set out to pursue this question, resulting in the publication of their paper “Perspective—Fluorinating Interphases.” (more…)

BatteryLithium-ion batteries power a vast majority of the world’s portable electronics, from smartphones to laptops. A standard lithium-ion batteries utilizes a liquid as the electrolyte between two electrodes. However, the liquid electrolyte has the potential to lead to safety hazards. Researchers from MIT believe that by using a solid electrolyte, lithium-ion batteries could be safer and able to store more energy. However, most research in the area of all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries has faced significant barriers.

According to the team from MIT, a reason why research into solid electrolytes has been so challenging is due to incorrect interpretation of how these batteries fail.

This from MIT:

The problem, according to this study, is that researchers have been focusing on the wrong properties in their search for a solid electrolyte material. The prevailing idea was that the material’s firmness or squishiness (a property called shear modulus) determined whether dendrites could penetrate into the electrolyte. But the new analysis showed that it’s the smoothness of the surface that matters most. Microscopic nicks and scratches on the electrolyte’s surface can provide a toehold for the metallic deposits to begin to force their way in, the researchers found.