Progress in portable and ubiquitous electronics would not be possible without rechargeable batteries. John B. Goodenough recounts the history of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019
The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. To celebrate the award, Nature Research presents this Collection including publications from the prize winners, and further research and review content focused on Li-ion batteries, and beyond — work that is laying the foundations of a wireless and fossil-fuel-free future.
Content ‘from the winners’ and recent review articles (published from 2014 onwards) are free to access until April 2020.
Chemists are reinventing rechargeable cells to drive down costs and boost capacity.
Professor M Stanley Whittingham is a pioneering researcher in the development of lithium-ion batteries at Binghamton University and Kent Snyder leads battery research and development at Ford Motor Company. Nature Energy caught up with both during the Nature Conference on Materials Electrochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications held in China in January 2018.
Jean-Marie Tarascon ponders on the value of lithium, an element known for about 200 years, whose importance is now fast increasing in view of the promises it holds for energy storage and electric cars.
From the winners
Much has been said about the high-energy, long-lasting potential of Li metal batteries, and yet little has been demonstrated at the cell scale. Here, Jun Liu and colleagues demonstrate a Li metal pouch cell with a 300 Wh kg−1 energy density and a 200-cycle lifetime.
Jun Liu and Battery500 Consortium colleagues contemplate the way forward towards high-energy and long-cycling practical batteries.
The lithium metal is a promising anode material for batteries; however, the growth of dendrite and its instability against moisture are two technical challenges. Here the authors address both issues by introducing a bifunctional layer consisting of hydrophobic graphite fluoride and lithium fluoride.
This Analysis reports an environmental life-cycle screening of various nanomaterials for both batteries and fuel cells for electric vehicles, and discusses the most promising candidates for a sustainable technology.
Design principles for oxygen-reduction activity on perovskite oxide catalysts for fuel cells and metal–air batteries
With the cost of noble metal oxygen-reduction catalysts rendering some fuel cells and batteries prohibitively expensive, the search for effective and cheaper catalysts is underway and would be speeded up by ‘design principles’. Now, the catalytic activity of oxide materials has been correlated to σ*-orbital occupation and the extent of metal–oxygen covalency.
Polymers are ubiquitous in batteries as binders, separators, electrolytes and electrode coatings. In this Review, we discuss the principles underlying the design of polymers with advanced functionalities to enable progress in battery engineering, with a specific focus on silicon, lithium-metal and sulfur battery chemistries.
The high lithium-ion conductivity and deformability of solid sulfide electrolytes make them key materials in all-solid-state lithium batteries. Liquid-phase reactions are valid and scalable approaches for the preparation of sulfide-based solid electrolytes that overcome the issues of moisture sensitivity and high vapour pressures of sulfur species.
Separators are an essential part of current lithium-ion batteries. Vanessa Wood and co-workers review the properties of separators, discuss their relationship with battery performance and survey the techniques for characterizing separators.
Understanding materials challenges for rechargeable ion batteries with in situ transmission electron microscopy
In situ TEM is a powerful tool that helps to understand energy storage behaviors of various materials. This review summarizes the critical discoveries, enabled by in situTEM, in rechargeable ion batteries, and foresees its bright future for extensive applications.
Significant progress in battery technology is crucial to ensure a transition towards a carbon-neutral society. Recent advances in both sustainability and operando techniques together with remaining challenges and possible solutions are now reviewed.
Post-lithium-ion batteries are reviewed with a focus on their operating principles, advantages and the challenges that they face. The volumetric energy density of each battery is examined using a commercial pouch-cell configuration to evaluate its practical significance and identify appropriate research directions.
Energy storage using batteries offers a solution to the intermittent nature of energy production from renewable sources; however, such technology must be sustainable. This Review discusses battery development from a sustainability perspective, considering the energy and environmental costs of state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries and the design of new systems beyond Li-ion. Images: batteries, car, globe: © iStock/Thinkstock.
The amount of energy that can be stored in Li-ion batteries is insufficient for the long-term needs of society, for example, for use in extended-range electric vehicles. Here, the energy-storage capabilities of Li–O2 and Li–S batteries are compared with that of Li-ion, their performances are reviewed, and the challenges that need to be overcome if such batteries are to succeed are highlighted.
A new series begins this week. 'Horizons' are commissioned articles in which experts speculate on what will happen over the next few years in their fields. On the cover, one of Antony Gormley's figures in his Another Place installation sets the tone. In the first piece, Thomas Kirkwood considers the potential of systems biology to de-link disease and old age. Peter Murray-Rust writes on a new 'open' approach to chemistry. But his subtext is broader: the future of the 'semantic web', where computers can make as much use of information as humans can. M. Armand and J.-M. Tarascon show how advances in materials science can provide the batteries of the future. George Koentges tackles 'evo-devo', the marriage of fossil evidence, genomic sequencing and molecular developmental biology. And R. J. Schoelkopf and S. M. Girvin raise the prospect that circuit quantum electrodynamics could pave the way for practical quantum computing and communication. On page 643, Nature editor Philip Campbell sets out the brief for these and future Horizons.
Lithium-ion batteries exhibit high theoretical gravimetric energy density but present a series of challenges due to the open cell architecture. Now, Zhou and co-workers confine the reversible Li2O/Li2O2 interconversion into a sealed cell by pre-embedding Li2O nanoparticles into an iridium–graphene catalytic host.
Long cycle life and dendrite-free lithium morphology in anode-free lithium pouch cells enabled by a dual-salt liquid electrolyte
Extensive efforts have recently been geared towards developing all-solid-state batteries largely because of their potential to enable high-energy-density Li anodes. Here, the authors report a high-performance lithium pouch cell with no excess lithium, enabled by just a dual-salt liquid electrolyte.
While thicker battery electrodes are in high demand to maximize energy density, mechanical instability is a major hurdle in their fabrication. Here the authors report that segregated carbon nanotube networks enable thick, high-capacity electrodes for a range of materials including Si and NMC.
Composite cathodes created by anionic redox reactions of bromine and chlorine intercalated into graphite, combined with water-in-salt electrolyte and graphite anodes, provide aqueous lithium-ion batteries with improved energy density.
The ever-increasing applications for Li-ion batteries in markets call for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient recycling technologies. Here the authors report using a deep eutectic solvent to extract valuable components of Li-ion batteries.
Scalable synthesis of ant-nest-like bulk porous silicon for high-performance lithium-ion battery anodes
Silicon is a promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries but experiences large volume changes during cycling. Here the authors report a scalable method to synthesize porous ant-nest-like silicons. The unique structure of this anode solves the swelling problem and enables impressive performance.
High-throughput first-principles-calculations based estimation of lithium ion storage in monolayer rhenium disulfide
Rhenium disulfide is a promising lithium ion battery material but its distorted structure makes computational modelling challenging. Here hardware-accelerator-assisted high-throughput DFT based structure searching is used to model the reversible lithiation of ReS2 including metal–sulphur bond cleavage.
Efficient thermal management of Li-ion batteries with a passive interfacial thermal regulator based on a shape memory alloy
Thermal fluctuations inside batteries limit their performance and pose various safety hazards. Here, the authors develop a shape memory alloy-based thermal regulator that stabilizes battery temperature in both hot and cold extreme environments.
Gas–solid interfacial modification of oxygen activity in layered oxide cathodes for lithium-ion batteries
Oxygen activity can play a vital role in determining charge transport properties of materials. Here, the authors demonstrate a method to create oxygen vacancies on layered oxides via a gas-solid interface reaction, leading to materials with enhanced energy and power densities for Li-ion batteries.
Direct view on the phase evolution in individual LiFePO4 nanoparticles during Li-ion battery cycling
Understanding phase transitions in electrodes under realistic conditions is important for future battery design. Here, the authors use synchrotron micro-beam diffraction to reveal the phase transition mechanism within individual particles of LiFePO4, revealing a cycling rate transformation mechanism.
Visualizing nanoscale 3D compositional fluctuation of lithium in advanced lithium-ion battery cathodes
It is challenging to quantitatively diagnose the lithium-ion distribution in batteries. Here, the authors use laser-assisted atom probe tomography to probe the nanoscale compositional fluctuations of lithium ions in two popular lithium-ion battery cathodes before and after electrochemical cycling.
Cathodes for Li-ion batteries operate mainly via an insertion–deinsertion redox process involving cationic species but this mechanism does not account for the high capacities displayed by Li-rich layered oxides. The reactivity of high-capacity Li2Ru1−ySnyO3 materials is now shown to be associated with a reversible redox process related to a reductive coupling mechanism.
Commercial lithium-ion batteries normally use a liquid electrolyte. Suo et al. show that a glassy-like electrolyte containing a high concentration of lithium salt leads to a substantially enhanced battery performance because of suppressed formation of lithium dendrites on the lithium metal anodes.
Advanced rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have potential applications in the renewable energy and sustainable road transport fields. Junget al. have developed a lithium battery that uses pre-existing concepts but has highly competitive energy densities, life span and cycling properties.
Batteries are thought of as having high energy density but low power rates, while for fast-discharging supercapacitors the opposite is true. Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder have now developed a lithium-ion battery that challenges that assumption, discharging extremely rapidly and maintaining a power density similar to a supercapacitor, two orders of magnitude higher than a normal lithium-ion battery. This is achieved by modifying LiFePO4, a material widely used in batteries. The starting point is nanosized LiFePO4, which already gives relatively fast discharge rates, which is then coated with a similar compound that is slightly Fe,P,O-deficient. On heating, the coating forms a glassy top layer that enhances lithium-ion mobility. The performance of batteries based on this technology could lead to new applications for electrochemical energy storage.