David Pogue, January 30, 2017
Batteries, as you may have figured out by now, have a problem. A few problems, actually.
They don’t hold nearly enough power. That’s a real problem for phones, smartwatches, and electric cars.
They’re very expensive. That’s a real problem for the national electric grid, which desperately needs some kind of energy storage if sun and wind power are ever to become a thing.
And above all, they’re explosive. That’s a real problem for Samsung—and, actually, anyone who would rather not carry an envelope full of fire next to their thighs.
SAN FRANCISCO — Mike Zimmerman likes to shock his guests by using a hammer to drive a nail through a solid polymer lithium metal battery.
Nothing happens — and that’s a good thing.
Ionic Materials has received a $3 million award for Novel Polymer Electrolyte for Solid State Lithium Metal Battery Technology from ARPA-e.
Ionic Materials has invented a new solid electrolyte made of a polymer material. The project team will optimize this material and the interface between the polymer and lithium metal to enable hundreds of charging cycles with no dendrite formation. In addition, Ionic Materials seeks to develop composite polymer cathodes based on conventional lithium-ion active materials. The team will use computer modeling, materials characterization, and electrochemical analysis to optimize the development of their cell to maximize desirable traits like cycle life and energy density while minimizing cost and ensuring manufacturability.
The symposium in Uppsala Sweden is a meeting of the world’s leading scientists who gather to discuss polymer electrolyte materials, alternative electrolyte systems, electrochemical applications and fundamental understanding of ion transport and structure-dynamic properties. Topics at this year’s conference included electrolytes for lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, fuel cell membranes, electrolytes for photo-electrochemical systems, supercapacitors, sensors & actuators, and new synthesis techniques. Mike Zimmerman, Ionic Materials’ Founder and CEO presented on the ionic conductivity of its novel polymer electrolyte and is pleased to report he won this year’s Poster Award for best poster.
Safe, long range electric vehicles become a reality
Longer lasting devices in new form factors
Low cost, reliable energy for grid applications
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