Challenges remain in understanding battery processes that govern operation and limit performance, but fundamental research holds the key for further development of beyond-lithium-ion technologies.
Post Lithium-ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are efficient energy storage devices that have transformed personal electronics and enabled the market introduction of electric vehicles. However, the ever-growing energy storage industry imposes great demands that current lithium-ion batteries are unable to meet.
Several post lithium-ion battery approaches exist that offer high-energy and long-life storage capability but also face tremendous challenges in their realization. In particular, many aspects of the fundamental science of battery processes, which hold the key for further development of future batteries, are still poorly understood.
This Focus discusses four post lithium-ion batteries – lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal and solid-state – and highlights advances for each of them in the fundamental understanding of those processes that govern battery operation and performance limitations.
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Solid-state batteries have recently attracted great interest as potentially safe and stable high-energy storage systems. However, key issues remain unsolved, hindering full-scale commercialization.
The development of rechargeable batteries that use metallic lithium anodes faces challenges such as dendrite formation. Here the authors review recent advances in preventing the proliferation of dendrite and discuss design principles for electrolytes and interfaces in lithium-metal batteries.
Lithium–air batteries offer great promise for high-energy storage capability but also pose tremendous challenges for their realization. This Review surveys recent advances in understanding the fundamental science that governs lithium–air battery operation, focusing on the reactions at the oxygen electrode.
Li–S batteries are a low-cost and high-energy storage system but their full potential is yet to be realized. This Review surveys recent advances in understanding polysulfide chemistry at the positive electrode and the electrolyte and discusses approaches towards long-life and high-loading batteries.