The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of a separator technology that will lead to higher energy density and safer batteries necessary for electric vehicles as well as other applications in industries such as grid energy storage and consumer electronics. Once realized in the commercial world, the proposed approach may significantly advance the current technologies for producing battery cells with a high degree of rate capability, energy density, and safety. The societal benefit is in its ability to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and other clean energy solutions by addressing global energy and environmental challenges. Translating the technique to commercial applications may create new jobs and contribute to the improvement of the economy.
This I-Corps project is based on the development of a novel battery separator that utilizes a material technique to suppress dendrite formation in fast charging batteries or batteries with lithium metal anodes. The technology may solve the long existing problem of dendrite formation, which causes battery shorting and is a barrier to the commercialization of higher energy, next-generation batteries. This project will help to develop the technique into a commercially ready technology that may accelerate the adoption of high energy density lithium metal batteries as the industry standard. This project will improve understanding of lithium metal batteries and dendrite formation so that new research may focus on further enhancing the performance of lithium metal batteries. This project may have a transformative impact on the translation of separator materials techniques and fundamentals of electrochemistry to battery manufacturing, bridging the technical gap between the fundamental research and commercial production of advanced lithium-ion batteries. The fundamental science and technology associated with dendrite suppression will be further explored to optimize and demonstrate the fabrication technique and products to diverse customers in different formats, sizes and materials.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.