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Fundamentals, status and promise of sodium-based batteries

Abstract

Na-based batteries have shown substantial progress in recent years and are promising candidates for mitigating the supply risks associated with Li-based batteries. In this Review, Na and Li batteries are compared in terms of fundamental principles and specific materials. Principles for the rational design of a Na battery architecture are discussed. Recent prototypes are surveyed to demonstrate that Na cells offer realistic alternatives that are competitive with some Li cells in terms of performance.

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Fig. 1: Lithium resources.
Fig. 2: Difference in open-circuit voltage.
Fig. 3: Performance of cathode materials.
Fig. 4: Ionic conductivity of solid electrolyte interphase components.
Fig. 5: Specific energy of Na and Li cells.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank D. Fabini for helpful discussions.

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All authors contributed to researching data, discussing content and writing the manuscript. The sections on fundamental properties were developed mostly in Stuttgart (J.M., R.U., J.P.), the materials section mostly in Singapore (P.B., M.L.) and the section on full cells mostly in Beijing (Y.-S.H., Y.L.). R.U. and J.M. coordinated and edited the manuscript prior to submission.

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Correspondence to Robert Usiskin or Joachim Maier.

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Y.-S. Hu leads research and development and is Chairman at the Na battery company HiNa Battery Technology. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Usiskin, R., Lu, Y., Popovic, J. et al. Fundamentals, status and promise of sodium-based batteries. Nat Rev Mater 6, 1020–1035 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-021-00324-w

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