Engineered Solid Electrolyte Interphase for Lithium Metal Batteries

Idaho National Laboratory Background
Thanks to its high specific capacity and low electrochemical potential, lithium metal is an ideal anode for next-generation high-energy batteries. However, it suffers from short cycle life due to dendrite growth and formation of isolated metallic Li as well as continuous consumption of active materials at the anode surface. Generally, a stable (SEI) on the Li metal anode is necessary to inhibit these undesired effects. However naturally formed SEI layers are plagued by cracking caused by large volume changes from Li plating/stripping as the battery cycles. This effect induces gradual electrolyte consumption resulting in reduced battery life.
Technology Overview
In order to address the above issues, researchers at INL have developed an effective approach to pre-treat Li metal anode surfaces to form a stable artificial bi-layer SEI structure. In contact with Li metal surfaces, a porous inorganic-rich SEI layer is formed by pre-treating Li metal surfaces. The porous SEI layer near the surface can suppress the dendrite growth and reduce the volume change during Li plating and stripping. The cracking is prevented as well. The dense SEI layer on top of the porous structure can inhibit the reaction between Li metal and the electrolytes and thus maintain a stable SEI structure.
Development Status
TRL 4. System has been validated in a laboratory environment.
Further Details
Efaw, C. M., Lu, B., Lin, Y., Pawar, G. M., Chinnam, P. R., Hurley, M. F., Dufek, E. J., Meng, Y. S., & Li, B. (2021). A closed-host bi-layer dense/porous solid electrolyte interphase for enhanced lithium-metal anode stability. Materials Today.

Increases Li Metal battery cycle life by:
Preventing dendrite growth and side reaction between the electrolytes and Li metal anode
Acting as a buffer to reduce the volume change during Li plating and stripping.


Li Metal Batteries:
Electric Vehicles
Portable Devices
Grid-Scale Energy Storage

Idaho National Laboratory (INL), managed and operated by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), is offering the opportunity to enter into a license and/or collaborative research agreement to commercialize this engineered anode technology for Li metal batteries. This technology transfer opportunity is part of a dedicated effort to convert government-funded research into job opportunities, businesses and ultimately an improved way of life for the American people.
INL is seeking to license the above intellectual property to a company with a demonstrated ability to bring such inventions to the market. Exclusive rights in defined fields of use may be available. Added value is placed on relationships with small businesses, start-up companies, and general entrepreneurship opportunities.

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