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Issues and challenges facing rechargeable lithium batteries


Technological improvements in rechargeable solid-state batteries are being driven by an ever-increasing demand for portable electronic devices. Lithium-ion batteries are the systems of choice, offering high energy density, flexible and lightweight design, and longer lifespan than comparable battery technologies. We present a brief historical review of the development of lithium-based rechargeable batteries, highlight ongoing research strategies, and discuss the challenges that remain regarding the synthesis, characterization, electrochemical performance and safety of these systems.

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Figure 1: Comparison of the different battery technologies in terms of volumetric and gravimetric energy density.
Figure 2: Schematic representation and operating principles of Li batteries.
Figure 3: Schematic representations of polymer electrolyte networks.
Figure 4: Schematic drawing showing the shape and components of various Li-ion battery configurations.
Figure 5: Voltage versus capacity for positive- and negative-electrode materials presently used or under serious considerations for the next generation of rechargeable Li-based cells.
Figure 6: The crystal structure of olivine LiFePO4 in projection along [001].
Figure 7: Cycling behaviour at 55 °C of an optimized LiFePO4/C composite electrode (83% of active material) at a scan rate of C/10.
Figure 8: Arrhenius plot of conductivity for various solid electrolytes.


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The authors thank their colleagues, both in academic institutions and industry, for sharing the gratifying dedication to this field of progress, and P. Rickman for help drawing the figures.

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Tarascon, JM., Armand, M. Issues and challenges facing rechargeable lithium batteries. Nature 414, 359–367 (2001).

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