Developing batteries with 10 times the energy storage

Researchers from Western University gain deeper understanding of all-solid-state lithium-sulfur batteries, which could lead to EVs that cost less to purchase, travel further on a single charge, and are safer to drive.

To meet the rising global demand for electric vehicles, we need new and improved batteries. One promising candidate are all-solid-state lithium sulfur batteries. They can store nearly 10 times the amount of energy as traditional lithium-ion batteries, according to researcher Justin Kim.

This type of rechargeable battery uses sulfur, a material that is affordable, readily available, and more environmentally friendly, and it is also significantly safer, according to Kim. This means that your electric vehicle could cost less to purchase, drive longer distances on a single charge, and be a safer ride for your family.

“The fundamental understanding of this type of battery is very limited right now because it’s an emerging technology,” said Kim, who studied lithium sulfur batteries during his Master’s degree at Western University and is now working on his PhD at the University of California in Los Angeles in the same field. “So, not much is known about their operational mechanism and their failure modes, and this information is really important for designing longer-lasting, high-energy density batteries.”

Kim and colleagues at Western University used the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan to analyze what happens inside these batteries when they are in use. They identified which species of sulfur are formed in the battery during its operation and how this could reduce performance or cause the batteries to fail. Their findings were published in Nature Communications.

Read more on CLS website