Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being compatible with next-generation cathodes. Berkeley Lab battery scientist Nitash Balsara, working with collaborator Joseph DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, came up with a highly conductive hybrid electrolyte, combining the two primary types of solid electrolytes—polymer and glass.
Their discovery is detailed in “Compliant Glass-Polymer Hybrid Single-Ion-Conducting Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries,” published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS); co-authors include Berkeley Lab researchers Irune Villaluenga, Kevin Wujcik, Wei Tong, and Didier Devaux, and Dominica Wong of U. North Carolina. Villaluenga, a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley Lab, played a key role in designing and realizing the solid electrolyte; Balsara and DeSimone are the senior authors.