Toyota Unveils Solid-State Battery in Japan

Today's battery technology is in an incipient form that cannot sustain the emerging eco-friendly car industry. Fortunately, Toyota takes matters into its own hands and proposes a solid state battery design that has the potential to offer more power output and higher energy storage density than a typical lithium-ion battery.

The lithium ion battery is one the most popular types of rechargeable batteries used in various applications from portable electronics to hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the reactive liquid electrolyte found in lithium ion batteries can cause them to become unstable. In addition, this type of battery loses its properties with prolonged use.

Toyota had recently unveiled a prototype battery that uses ceramic coating on the positive electrode materials to overcome an obstacle that crippled early solid-state battery designs: a material is produced in a chemical reaction between the boundary surfaces of positive electrodes and solid electrolyte, increasing resistance. Tech On attended the unveiling and describes Toyota's prototype battery:

"Four sets of positive electrode layers, solid electrolyte layers and negative electrode layers are laminated, and the average voltage of the cell is 14.4V (3.6V x 4). The laminated cell measures about 10 centimeters square. Toyota exhibited the cell right after it was charged and it output a voltage of 16.26V (4.065V per layer). The positive electrode, negative electrode and solid electrolyte of the prototyped cell are made by using lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2), graphite and sulfide, respectively."

The prototype battery can be safely used at temperatures above 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), a level that would cause the liquid electrolytes in existing li-ion batteries to boil over, said Toyota.

Furthermore, all-solid-state batteries are safer than organic electrolytes, which burn at high temperatures. And because they do not contain a liquid material, their packages can be simple.
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