QuantumScape tests solid-state battery cells with ten layers

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VW partner is making progress, series production from 2024 is getting closer

QuantumScape tests solid-state battery cells with ten layers-solid-state

QuantumScape, the California-based company specializing in solid-state batteries, announced yesterday, Tuesday, July 27th, according to a Bloomberg article, that it is now testing a cell with ten layers.

Market watchers and a number of car manufacturers expect solid-state batteries to hit the market as early as 2025. They should not only make electric cars cheaper, but also accelerate charging, increase the range through greater energy densities and eliminate the risk of fire. VW partner QuantumScape belongs next to Solid Power (behind which BMW and Ford stand), SolidState Lion and Toyota among the protagonists of this announced revolution.

In February QuantumScape announced that it was now building multi-layer solid-state battery cells could. At that time there were four shifts. Even if there is still a long way to go before it is ready for series production, the technology has cleared some technical hurdles.

"While we have many more cells to manufacture and test to collect data and statistics on their performance and reliability, this is an extremely important result," QuantumScape wrote in a letter to shareholders.

In March, the company raised around $ 463 million. The aim is to set up a pilot plant for the production of solid-state batteries in California. It is scheduled to start producing cells in 2024.

QuantumScape tests solid-state battery cells with ten layers-quantumscape

Ceramics or polymers as solid electrolytes

With solid-state batteries (Solid State Batteries, SSBs), the liquid electrolyte currently in use is being replaced by a solid. According to an article in the Ceramic Journal (PDF), the requirements for the electrolyte include good permeability for lithium ions, high electronic resistance and good mechanical contact at the interfaces with the electrodes.

According to Martin Finsterbusch from Forschungszentrum Julich, ceramics and polymers can be used as materials. Ceramic electrolytes come in two types: Sulphide-based materials, such as those favored by Toyota and Samsung, have very good lithium-ion conductivity, but are not considered to be very stable. Oxide-based materials also have high ionic conductivity and are also considered to be very safe, but there are problems with premature aging of the cells.

Daniel Mutter from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM names the substances lithium-germanium-phosphorus sulfide (LGPS, Li10GeP2S12) and lithium-aluminum-titanium-phosphate (LATP, Li1,3Al0.3Ti1,7 (PO4) 3 as examples of solid electrolyte materials ., apparently a sulfidic or an oxidic ceramic material. Both LGPS and LATP also have a high ionic conductivity. However, they tend to react with the electrode materials, which reduces the conductivity.

Metallic lithium instead of graphite as anode material

QuantumScape uses a ceramic electrolyte and a lithium metal anode. Strictly speaking, the lithium anode is not built into the cell, but is created when the battery is charged, as explained in the video above.

The possibility of lithium anodes is one of the main advantages of solid electrolytes. They are less prone to reactions with the lithium than liquid electrolytes. But even here so-called dendrites made of lithium can arise after just a few charge-discharge cycles, which can lead to a short circuit.

The challenges for electrochemists and solid-state physicists (including their female colleagues) are still great. The experts cited in the ceramics article do not believe that series production can be ruled out by 2025, albeit perhaps not with maximum energy densities.

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