Solid Electrolyte Rechargeable Lithium Battery

Technology Opportunity
Solid Electrolyte Rechargeable Lithium Battery
The US Air Force has successfully demonstrated a prototype solid electrolyte
rechargeable lithium battery with high energy capacity that improves safety over liquid
electrolyte lithium battery systems.
Background and Technology:
The US Air Force Research Laboratory - Aerospace
Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) has developed and
patented a new class of solid-state electrolyte (SSE)
for secondary lithium batteries. The goal of this
research is to achieve higher capacity, safer battery
technology. Recently the AF fabricated and tested
its first fully functional cell, analogous to a coin cell,
based on this material – whose backbone is a large
unsaturated aromatic molecule. Further testing and
characterization are underway. The initial testing
strongly indicates that the new materials are capable of
Figure 1: Initial discharge profile of an all solid-state
delivering and maintaining high energy storage capacity
cell based on this new material
over multiple charge/discharge cycles. Additional
patentable discoveries have been made and more are anticipated as battery performance is further
optimized. Preliminary testing coupled with theoretical calculations show that a specific capacity in excess
of 1000 mAh/g is possible with a simple cell configuration comprised of a lithium metal anode and other cell
components based on this new family of materials. Figure 1 shows the initial discharge profile of an allsolid-state cell at 100 ºC using a constant current of 50 µA/cm 2. With a formulation that is far from
optimized, the specific capacity to this initial test is a respectable ~ 126mAh/g based on the active weight of
the prototype cathode; it is very encouraging that the cell is robust, stable, and currently being cycled at
100 ºC. The new technology will eliminate safety concerns posed by liquid electrolyte lithium cells. The
batteries do not contain corrosive liquids reducing concerns about battery puncture or rupture. Also,
thermal runaway is not possible with this solid-state cell configuration and the key compositions are free of
oxygen, thereby eliminating combustion due to overheating conditions.
 High energy capacity
 Improved safety
 Broader operating temperature range anticipated
 Compatible with industrial, automated manufacturing processes
 Commercially available starting materials
The AFRL is looking for partners to provide funding and expertise to help leverage its expertise and
resources to further develop this set of inventions from prototype into commercial products. Exclusive or
partially exclusive licensing to its development partners of the technology will be considered.
For more information, contact:
Joan Wu-Singel, (406) 994-7705, [email protected]
or John Dennis, (406-994-7707), [email protected]
DoD Partnership Intermediary
Per 15 USC 3715
Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited 88ABW-2013-2247