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John O | October 2016

MIT start-up announces breakthrough on battery power

solidenergy systems, which was founded in 2012 by mit alum dr. qichao hu, announced the development of an “anode-free” rechargeable lithium metal battery that is twice as energy-dense as the standard batteries on the market, equally safe, and that will last twice as long.





according to a notice from the mit news office, solidenergy demonstrated a working prototype of a smartphone battery in october 2015 and earned $12 million from investors. it was half the size of the battery in the iphone 6 it “offered 2.0 amp hours, compared with the lithium ion battery’s 1.8 amp hours.”


the company is looking to take its technology to smartphones and wearables before turning to electric vehicles in 2018. there is already an application for drones that will be released in november.


hu said of the lithium metal battery, ““it is kind of the holy grail for batteries.”


he added, “the battery essentially swaps out a common battery anode material, graphite, for very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil, which can hold more ions — and, therefore, provide more energy capacity.


“chemical modifications to the electrolyte also make the typically short-lived and volatile lithium metal batteries rechargeable and safer to use. moreover, the batteries are made using existing lithium ion manufacturing equipment, which makes them scalable.”


the battery uses “an ultrathin lithium meatal foil for the anode.” the foil is one-fifth the thickness of a standard anode and thinner and lighter than graphite, carbon or silicon anodes.


to make the battery work at room temperature, hu coated the foil with a solid non-flammable electrolyte and “has additional chemical modifications to the separator and cell design to stop it from negatively reacting with the lithium metal.”


read the full article from the mit news office at http://news.mit.edu/2016/lithium-metal-batteries-double-power-consumer-electronics-0817. learn more about the technology at http://www.solidenergysystems.com or at the bbc video below:

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