Skip to main content



  • Access
  • Cited by 20
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Jung, Wo Dum Yun, Bin-Na Jung, Hun-Gi Choi, Sungjun Son, Ji-Won Lee, Jong-Ho Lee, Jong-Heun and Kim, Hyoungchul 2018. Configuring PSx tetrahedral clusters in Li-excess Li7P3S11 solid electrolyte. APL Materials, Vol. 6, Issue. 4, p. 047902.

    Jang, Hye Kyeong Jung, Byung Mun Choi, U Hyeok and Lee, Sang Bok 2018. Ion Conduction and Viscoelastic Response of Epoxy-Based Solid Polymer Electrolytes Containing Solvating Plastic Crystal Plasticizer. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, p. 1700514.

    Zettsu, Nobuyuki Shiiba, Hiromasa Onodera, Hitoshi Nemoto, Kazune Kimijima, Takeshi Yubuta, Kunio Nakayama, Masanobu and Teshima, Katsuya 2018. Thin and Dense Solid-solid Heterojunction Formation Promoted by Crystal Growth in Flux on a Substrate. Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, Issue. 1,

    B. Puthirath, Anand Patra, Sudeshna Pal, Shubhadeep M., Manoj Puthirath Balan, Aravind S., Jayalekshmi and Tharangattu N., Narayanan 2017. Transparent flexible lithium ion conducting solid polymer electrolyte. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 5, Issue. 22, p. 11152.

    Sedlmaier, Stefan J. Indris, Sylvio Dietrich, Christian Yavuz, Murat Dräger, Christoph von Seggern, Falk Sommer, Heino and Janek, Jürgen 2017. Li4PS4I: A Li+ Superionic Conductor Synthesized by a Solvent-Based Soft Chemistry Approach. Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 29, Issue. 4, p. 1830.

    Cheng, Tao Merinov, Boris V. Morozov, Sergey and Goddard, William A. 2017. Quantum Mechanics Reactive Dynamics Study of Solid Li-Electrode/Li6PS5Cl-Electrolyte Interface. ACS Energy Letters, Vol. 2, Issue. 6, p. 1454.

    Shen, Brian H. Veith, Gabriel M. Armstrong, Beth L. Tenhaeff, Wyatt E. and Sacci, Robert L. 2017. Predictive Design of Shear-Thickening Electrolytes for Safety Considerations. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 164, Issue. 12, p. A2547.

    Guhl, Conrad Fingerle, Mathias and Hausbrand, René 2017. Process related effects upon formation of composite electrolyte interfaces: Nitridation and reduction of NASICON-type electrolytes by deposition of LiPON. Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 362, p. 299.

    Tang, Wan Si Dimitrievska, Mirjana Stavila, Vitalie Zhou, Wei Wu, Hui Talin, A. Alec and Udovic, Terrence J. 2017. Order–Disorder Transitions and Superionic Conductivity in the Sodium nido-Undeca(carba)borates. Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 29, Issue. 24, p. 10496.

    Fingerle, Mathias Buchheit, Roman Sicolo, Sabrina Albe, Karsten and Hausbrand, René 2017. Reaction and Space Charge Layer Formation at the LiCoO2–LiPON Interface: Insights on Defect Formation and Ion Energy Level Alignment by a Combined Surface Science–Simulation Approach. Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 29, Issue. 18, p. 7675.

    Tron, Artur Nosenko, Alexander Park, Yeong Don and Mun, Junyoung 2017. Synthesis of the solid electrolyte Li 2 O–LiF–P 2 O 5 and its application for lithium-ion batteries. Solid State Ionics, Vol. 308, p. 40.

    Weber, Dominik A. Senyshyn, Anatoliy Weldert, Kai S. Wenzel, Sebastian Zhang, Wenbo Kaiser, René Berendts, Stefan Janek, Jürgen and Zeier, Wolfgang G. 2016. Structural Insights and 3D Diffusion Pathways within the Lithium Superionic Conductor Li10GeP2S12. Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 28, Issue. 16, p. 5905.

    Janek, Jürgen and Zeier, Wolfgang G. 2016. A solid future for battery development. Nature Energy, Vol. 1, Issue. 9, p. 16141.

    Grazioli, D. Magri, M. and Salvadori, A. 2016. Computational modeling of Li-ion batteries. Computational Mechanics, Vol. 58, Issue. 6, p. 889.

    Wenzel, Sebastian Randau, Simon Leichtweiß, Thomas Weber, Dominik A. Sann, Joachim Zeier, Wolfgang G. and Janek, Jürgen 2016. Direct Observation of the Interfacial Instability of the Fast Ionic Conductor Li10GeP2S12 at the Lithium Metal Anode. Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 28, Issue. 7, p. 2400.

    Hori, Satoshi Suzuki, Kota Hirayama, Masaaki Kato, Yuki and Kanno, Ryoji 2016. Lithium Superionic Conductor Li9.42Si1.02P2.1S9.96O2.04 with Li10GeP2S12-Type Structure in the Li2S–P2S5–SiO2 Pseudoternary System: Synthesis, Electrochemical Properties, and Structure–Composition Relationships. Frontiers in Energy Research, Vol. 4,

    Kato, Yuki Hori, Satoshi Saito, Toshiya Suzuki, Kota Hirayama, Masaaki Mitsui, Akio Yonemura, Masao Iba, Hideki and Kanno, Ryoji 2016. High-power all-solid-state batteries using sulfide superionic conductors. Nature Energy, Vol. 1, Issue. 4, p. 16030.

    Hood, Zachary D. Kates, Cameron Kirkham, Melanie Adhikari, Shiba Liang, Chengdu and Holzwarth, N.A.W. 2016. Structural and electrolyte properties of Li 4 P 2 S 6. Solid State Ionics, Vol. 284, p. 61.

    Zeng, Xian-Xiang Yin, Ya-Xia Li, Nian-Wu Du, Wen-Cheng Guo, Yu-Guo and Wan, Li-Jun 2016. Reshaping Lithium Plating/Stripping Behavior via Bifunctional Polymer Electrolyte for Room-Temperature Solid Li Metal Batteries. Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 138, Issue. 49, p. 15825.

    Martinez-Duart, J.M. Hernandez-Moro, J. Serrano-Calle, S. Gomez-Calvet, R. and Casanova-Molina, M. 2015. New frontiers in sustainable energy production and storage. Vacuum, Vol. 122, p. 369.



      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Solid-state batteries enter EV fray
        Available formats
        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Solid-state batteries enter EV fray
        Available formats
        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Solid-state batteries enter EV fray
        Available formats
Export citation

Lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes power most of the electric vehicles (EVs) that are widely seen as an essential step toward halting the march of global warming. But EVs currently cost significantly more while suffering from a lower driving range than gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Despite significant lithium-ion battery advances in the last two decades, many in the field feel that further progress will crest in the next few years and are seeking a successor technology.

All-solid-state batteries most likely based on mobile lithium ions are an emerging option for next-generation technologies on the road to a safe, green vehicle with attractive cost and performance. What sets them apart is the use of an inorganic solid electrolyte rather than the organic liquid electrolyte embedded in a moist paste found in virtually all commercial lithium-ion batteries. One obvious virtue of a switch to the solid-state is the reduction, if not elimination, of the fire risk associated with flammable organic electrolytes when short circuits drive up the temperature.

Performance improvements, such as a higher volumetric energy density (Wh/L) to increase the driving range between charges and sufficient power density (W/L) to make energy available when needed, are just as important. Researchers also tout long cycle life and shelf life as significant improvements over today’s lithium-ion batteries that degrade after a few years.

Despite these theoretical advantages, there is a long way to go before all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries begin appearing in electric vehicles. “A battery revolution is not just waiting for us around the corner,” said Jürgen Janek of Justus Liebig University Giessen. “Solid-state batteries require serious efforts not only in fundamental science but also in processing technology,” he said. Among the key choices to be made for any battery are the electrode and electrolyte materials. Once these are identified and workable laboratory-scale prototypes are developed, then comes the perhaps even more difficult chore of perfecting fabrication and packaging technologies that are inexpensive, rapid, and reliable on a large scale. Peter Lamp from BMW in Munich added, “It is just as important to produce a device with sufficient mechanical stability, since large volume variations in the battery materials during operation have to be taken into account. The impact of additional mechanical stress that may originate from vibrations during car operation also deserves careful evaluation.”

Though not everyone agrees that the goal is realistic, auto giant Toyota is looking toward the 2020s for the introduction of vehicles powered at least, in part, by solid-state batteries. One reason is the 2012 demonstration of a prototype all-solid-state lithium-ion battery with a volumetric energy density about twice that of today’s lithium-ion technology. “The first application tests with an electric kickboard, powered by the Toyota all-solid-state battery, confirm the results of our research and demonstrate the game-changing potential of this technology,” said Chihiro Yada of Toyota Motor Europe, noting that candidate applications range from hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to all-electric vehicles (EVs).

Solid-state electrolytes head the list of materials options yet to be decided. Ideally, an electrolyte will have high ionic conductivity, but solid-state electrolytes historically have suffered from ionic conductivities that are orders of magnitude lower than the liquid or gel-type organic electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. The low conductivity problem can be compounded by grain bounda-ries in the polycrystalline solid. Key considerations also include electrochemical stability at the operating electrode potentials (a low anode potential and higher cathode potentials are advantageous for energy density), along with ease of fabrication.

Mobile ions travel through solid electrolytes by hopping between ion lattice sites, and obtaining high conductivity at ambient temperature has been a challenge. Among the candidates are sulfide, oxide, and nitride ceramics and glasses, and even organic polymers. One breakthrough occurred in 2010 when a Japanese group led by Ryoji Kanno at the Tokyo Institute of Technology reported a lithium-germanium-phosphorous sulfide ceramic with lithium-ion conductivity at room temperature matching that of liquids, owing to channels for ion flow in the crystal structure. Balancing this success, the electrochemical stability at the interface with a lithium anode was problematic.

The Kanno group’s achievement by no means rules out other materials. “Oxide-based solids with high ionic conductivity will be the leading electrolyte candidates,” said Masahiro Tatsumisago of Osaka Prefecture University, a frequent collaborator with Toyota battery researchers. Jeff Sakamoto of the University of Michigan and his associates are studying one such oxide electrolyte, a lithium-lanthanum-zirconium garnet. Sakamoto explained that “Although the ionic conductivity of this compound is lower than that of sulfur-based electrolytes, the chemical stability against decomposition at a lithium anode is better.”

With the wide range of possible electrolyte compositions, finding the optimum one is a huge challenge. In 2008, a Toyota group in Japan, for example, joined with a UK group headed by Brian Hayden at Ilika Technologies in Southampton to explore a combinatorial approach based on high-throughput vapor deposition from multiple computer-controlled sources that continuously vary the composition across a substrate. In a demonstration study of the lithium-lanthanum-titanium ternary oxide system, they were able to locate the optimum conductivity composition as well as map the distributions of phases and their composition ranges.

Toyota roadmap showing power and energy densities expected for selected battery technologies suggests that all solid-state batteries are an important step in the evolution of batteries for electric vehicles, but are not the ultimate solution. Figure courtesy of H. Iba (Toyota Motor Corporation) and C. Yada (Toyota Motor Europe).

For a given anode material, the cathode material sets the operating voltage, and higher voltages translate to higher energy. “Toyota’s prototype solid-state battery has a traditional lithium-multiple transition metal-oxygen cathode that operates at 4 V, but recent feasibility studies have used cathodes with tweaked compositions that run closer to 5 V,” said Yada. Another solid-state advantage, according to Sehee Lee of the University of Colorado at Boulder and a cofounder of the nearby battery startup Solid Power, is that “solid-state batteries offer the possibility of new chemistries that are not feasible with liquid electrolytes, such as the iron disulfide cathodes that we are working on.”

Among the challenges associated with electrodes, getting lithium ions from the solid electrolyte into the cathode is often hindered by the formation of an insulating phase at the interface between the two. While placing a LiNbO3 interlayer between the electrode and electrolyte shows potential, “finding ways to mitigate the effect remains a challenge,” said John Lemmon of the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E, which funds several all-solid-state battery projects with the aim of translating promising research results into technologies ready for commercialization. A similar issue arises at the anode, where lithium ions enter the electrolyte during discharge.

In conventional lithium-ion batteries, graphite has been the material of choice for the anode, though others are under development. But with “a metal anode, the lithium density at the anode would be much higher, leading to an increased energy density,” said Yusheng Zhao of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. “The problem is that with an organic liquid electrolyte, lithium dendrites would grow from the anode-electrolyte interface through the electrolyte and puncture the membrane, separating the anode and cathode compartments, leading to short-circuits and a magnified fire hazard.” Solid-state lithium-ion batteries offer the option of lithium metal anodes, possibly without reintroducing a fire hazard. “A solid electrolyte might be safer,” said Janek, “if it can be shown that dendrites cannot find a path along grain boundaries.”

In common with lithium-ion batteries, maximizing the volume of active material and minimizing the rest is essential for making the energy density as high as possible, but it is also necessary to maximize charge transfer. A traditional linear stack comprising an anode layer (such as a lithium foil), a very thin solid-state electrolyte layer, and a cathode layer, with both electrodes in contact with a conductive material that shuttles electrons from the anode through the external circuit to the cathode particles, may not be the best structure for this. To maximize charge transfer, novel 3D battery structures, such as composite blends of electrolyte, conductive additive, and electrode material are being developed.

When it comes to fabrication, solid-state batteries require a way of thinking that departs both from today’s lithium-ion batteries and from thin-film solid-state lithium-ion batteries, already an established technology for specialized military and industrial applications. Nancy Dudney of Oak Ridge National Laboratory said, “Many of these films are made using methods similar to those used to produce electronic and photovoltaic devices, but these processes are unlikely to be cost-effective for the large batteries needed for EV applications.”

In a presentation at the 2014 joint annual meeting of the American Ceramic Society’s Glass and Optical Materials Division and the Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft, Osaka’s Tatsumisago and Akitoshi Hayashi concluded that realizing the ideal all-solid-state battery will require the confluence of several fabrication technologies ranging from those for film formation, particle dispersion, and mixing, to those for powders, glasses, ceramics, and polymers. High-temperature processes such as densifying powder by sintering, for example, may become important.

Should lithium all-solid-state batteries make the jump from the laboratory to the showroom floor, they are best viewed as an important step on the way to the ultimate battery. Toyota’s roadmap, for example, already labels lithium-air batteries, currently behind lithium solid-state batteries on the development curve, as a possible successor during the 2030s.