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Promise and reality of post-lithium-ion batteries with high energy densities

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Abstract

Energy density is the main property of rechargeable batteries that has driven the entire technology forward in past decades. Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) now surpass other, previously competitive battery types (for example, lead–acid and nickel metal hydride) but still require extensive further improvement to, in particular, extend the operation hours of mobile IT devices and the driving mileages of all-electric vehicles. In this Review, we present a critical overview of a wide range of post-LIB materials and systems that could have a pivotal role in meeting such demands. We divide battery systems into two categories: near-term and long-term technologies. To provide a realistic and balanced perspective, we describe the operating principles and remaining issues of each post-LIB technology, and also evaluate these materials under commercial cell configurations.

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Figure 1: Three representative commercial cell structures.
Figure 2: Electrode structures and binder designs for Si anodes.
Figure 3: Structures and electrochemical voltage profiles of advanced layered cathode materials.
Figure 4: Failure and remedies of Li-metal anodes.
Figure 5: Various sulfur cathodes in Li–S batteries.
Figure 6: Representative metal–oxygen batteries.
Figure 7: Operation voltages versus specific capacities of sodium-ion battery and magnesium battery electrode materials.

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Acknowledgements

J.W.C. thanks J. Min for his help in the volumetric-energy-density evaluation. J.W.C. acknowledges the support of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (NRF-2012-R1A2A1A01011970 and NRF-2014R1A4A1003712). D.A. acknowledges help from the Israel Science Foundation, in the framework of the INREP project. This work was also made possible by NPRP grant #5-569-2–232 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of the Qatar Foundation).

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Choi, J., Aurbach, D. Promise and reality of post-lithium-ion batteries with high energy densities. Nat Rev Mater 1, 16013 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/natrevmats.2016.13

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