Battery technology is the most widely used method for storing low-carbon portable energy, currently mainly in consumer electronics but also to an increasing extent for hybrid and electric vehicles. The current market size is $8bn per annum and expected to grow to $32bn by 2018.
In order to deliver the fuel economy benefits of hybrid and electric vehicles, new batteries are required which can store energy in a small volume, but can also charge and discharge rapidly while remaining safe.
Solid state batteries are capable of delivering these benefits and their advancement is dependent on the development of highly conductive, stable electrolytes. A rapid means to explore candidate electrolyte materials is of great interest to battery manufacturers.
Since 2008, Ilika has been working with Toyota on the development of novel battery chemistries that can fulfil these objectives and has since filed 9 patents on some of the novel materials and production methods that have been jointly invented. Toyota has sold by far the most hybrid vehicles through the success of its Prius model and is regarded by the industry as the leader in this sector.
Using the Ilika High Throughput Physical Vapour Deposition (HT-PVD) platform, Ilika and Toyota’s Battery Research Division, have worked on a joint development project to synthesise, characterise and optimise thin film, solid state lithium ion electrolyte materials to develop the next generation of batteries for EVs and PHEVs.
With Ilika’s HT-PVD facility, Toyota has been able to develop advanced electrode and electrolyte materials for lithium-ion batteries in a far quicker and more efficient way than traditional materials discovery processes. Ilika’s HT-PVD platform uses high-throughput or combinational techniques which involve the rapid synthesis of a large number of different structurally related materials in a few automated steps. The deposition of all elements occurs simultaneously and the composition profile can be carefully carried across the substrate in a controlled manner.
The use of solid state electrolytes in batteries will help to reduce battery size, allow rapid charge/discharge rates (allowing motorists to recharge their vehicles in a matter of minutes rather than hours) and increase the length of the battery's life.
“Ilika’s high-throughput techniques are essential to overcome some of the technological barriers we face in the development of leading edge technologies”
Mr Okajima, Project Manager at Toyota’s Frontier & Advanced Engineering Strategy Dept in its R&D Management Center
“Ilika’s methods have been an important source of materials innovation for our solid state battery programme in recent years. The synthetic methods are reliable, screening is rapid and accurate.”
Dr Yada, Senior Manager at Advanced Technology, Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA.
Further information can be found in:
ACS Comb. Sci., 2011, 13 (4), pp 375–381, which is available to subscribers to the ACS Publications website: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/co100075f
J Electrochem Soc, 2015, 162 A722-726, which is available on the JES website: http://jes.ecsdl.org/content/162/4/A722.full