HINDERING DENDRITE GROWTH IN LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES
H2020-LC-BAT-2020-3 > | Grant agreement ID: 957202
September 2020 – August 2023
Lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) currently dominate the battery field. They have proved to be suitable e.g. for electric vehicles, which are urgently needed to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and pollution worldwide. In Europe, 27% of carbon emission comes from transport, with cars representing 44% of that. This makes transport the biggest source of carbon emissions in Europe, and electrification of transport serves as one of the main tools to reach a carbon neutral Europe by the year 2050. However, the limited energy density and lifetime of batteries hinders wider use and user acceptance of electric vehicles.
The energy density is limited, e.g. by the graphitic anode material, but improved anode materials, such as silicon and carbon, have been developed. Metallic lithium anodes would be the ultimate goal for enabling high energy density batteries. However, they suffer from dendrite growth, which has so far caused safety concerns and limited the lifetime of lithium metal batteries (LMBs). Solid electrolytes would help to prevent dendrite formation, but it is difficult to develop and process such electrolytes with sufficiently high conductivity and mechanical stability. Some methods, such as utilizing polarized piezoelectric separators, have been presented in literature but they have not been demonstrated and validated in industrial battery processes. In addition, novel self-healing methods are awaited to fully overcome the deleterious dendrite formation problem in LMBs and thus increase their quality, reliability and lifetime (QRL).
The HIDDEN project aims to develop self-healing processes to enhance the lifetime and increase the energy density of Li-metal batteries to 50% above the level achievable with current Li-ion batteries. Within the HIDDEN project, the partners will develop novel self-healing thermotropic liquid crystalline electrolytes and piezoelectric separator technologies, investigate both technologies with protective additives, and apply multiscale modelling to electrolyte design and analysis algorithms to monitor the dendrite growth. Technologies will be upscaled from laboratory to industrial manufacturing processes, tested and finally demonstrated by assembling battery cells with battery layers and at temperature control system. HIDDEN targets the development of the next generation of LMBs with improved QRL with the help of innovative self-healing techniques.
Within the HIDDEN project, SPECIFIC POLYMERS will be actively involved in the synthesis of ion-conductive liquid crystals (ICLC) in close collaboration with the CNRS (SyMMES laboratory). We will be in charge of synthetizing different ICLC of interest and of achieving a first level of characterization. Upscaling of the most promising ICLC will be performed by SPECIFIC POLYMERS during the project.
To prevent dendrite growth in high energy density LMBs with the help of three compatible self-healing methods: thermotropic liquid crystalline electrolyte, piezoelectric separator and protecting additives.
To demonstrate extended lifetime of the battery with the help of on-demand, repeatable, self-healing functionalities, which are controlled by the battery management system and supported by analysis and modelling tools.
To create an industrial process for the suggested self-healing batteries (SHBs), both at cell and module level through a chemistry neutral approach.