Who is [John Goodenough]? He’s 94, so he’s been around long enough that you ought to know him. He was one of the co-inventors of the lithium-ion battery. Think about how much that battery has changed electronics. [Goodenough] along with [Maria Helena Braga] may have come up with that battery’s successor: the solid state battery. There’s a paper available that is free, but requires registration. If you don’t want to register, you can read the news release from the University of Texas with no trouble.
Keywords used to describe the new battery are low-cost, noncombustible, long cycle life, high energy density, and fast charge and discharge rates. The pair is also claiming three times the energy density of a current lithium-ion battery. They also claim that the batteries recharge in minutes instead of hours. You can see a video from [Transport Evolved] that discusses the invention, below.
The battery relies on solid glass electrolyte. It also employs an alkali metal anode to realize increased energy density of the cathode. The electrolyte can operate down to -20 degrees C, which is unusual for a solid state battery.
We see a lot of stories about the next big breakthrough in batteries including some that are definitely suspect. Even the ones that seem legitimate, seem to make a big splash and then don’t always wind up in the marketplace. However, we would probably have thought that about the lithium-ion cell, too, and look where that wound up. If this battery lives up to its promise it could be a real game-changer for lots of electronic equipment.