To boost Europe’s current transformation to efficient low-emission transport and a sustainable energy economy new electrical energy storage solutions are needed to efficiently store electricity from intermittent solar, wind, or tidal sources and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, there is a strong potential for advanced Li-ion battery storage solutions for a variety of power and energy storage requirements. In order to realize advanced battery technologies the increase in battery voltage is very advantageous to enable high energy density applications without an increase in the cell weight or volume. Currently, liquid electrolytes limit battery voltages due to their instability against the preferred electrode materials, Li metal and high-voltage cathodes. The current research bottlenecks can be relieved when good solid-state become available having the potential to pave the way towards all solid-state Li-ion batteries with gravimetric and volumetric energy densities of about 500 Wh/kg and 1000 Wh/l, respectively. As an example, such high energy densities enables a driving distance with an electrical vehicle of up to 700 km with a single charge. Despite all the progress made in the development of solid electrolytes interfaces arise recently as the main bottleneck impeding the development of solid-state batteries.
In a lithium-ion battery, the interfacial regions can be subdivided into interfaces between the individual components of a cell comprising the interfaces formed between ceramic electrolytes and Li metal and ceramic high-voltage cathodes as well as "inner" interfaces such as grain boundaries within the ceramic electrolyte or interfaces between ceramic particles and the polymeric matrix in composite electrolytes. The understanding of ageing effects and resulting damages to the battery as well as the comprehensive correlation of microstructure and interfacial ion transport might contribute to a much better understanding of the solid-state electrochemical processes taking place during charging and discharging a lithium-ion battery. Therefore, identifying and understanding the degradation phenomena due to both cycling and calendric ageing, as well as identifying microstructural features related to rapid long-range Li-ion transport to lower the internal resistance in batteries is one of the fundamental challenges in battery research.
The CD lab for solid-state batteries is intended (i) systematic in-depth investigate solid-state electrochemical processes taking place in solid-state lithium-ion batteries highly influencing their power rate capability as well as cycling stability, and to (ii) optimize, develop, and test materials and concepts to improve interfacial properties. Based on gained knowledge new cell architectures will be developed and tested to tailor solid-state batteries towards their future practicable applications as the next-generation of energy storage solutions.