Breakthrough to safer solid state batteries with double the performance

The University of Michigan has a made a breakthrough towards a ceramic, solid-state electrolyte which could enable lithium-ion batteries with twice the energy performance.

Current lithium-ion batteries max out with a total energy density around 600 watt-hours per liter (Wh/L) at the cell level. In principal, solid-state batteries can reach 1,200 Wh/L.

U-M engineers created a ceramic layer that stabilizes the surface—keeping dendrites from forming and preventing fires. It allows batteries to harness the benefits of lithium metal—energy density and high-conductivity—without the dangers of fires or degradation over time.

It’s not combustible. There is no liquid, which is what typically fuels battery fires.

Journal of Power Sources – Demonstration of high current densities and extended cycling in the garnet Li7La3Zr2O12 solid electrolyte


• Critical current densities as high as 6.0 mA cm−2 were demonstrated at 60 °C.
• 702 mAh cm−2 total Li was plated at 60 °C with 3.0 mAh cm−2 per half cycle.
• Li7La3Zr2O12 is stable against Li during extended cycling.
• Ohmic behavior, EIS, and visual inspection verify short-free electrolyte.


Replacing state-of-the-art graphite with metallic Li anodes could dramatically increase the energy density of Li-ion technology. However, efforts to achieve uniform Li plating and stripping in conventional liquid electrolytes have had limited success. An alternative approach is to use a solid electrolyte to stabilize the Li interface during cycling. One of the most promising solid electrolytes is Li7La3Zr2O12, which has high ionic conductivity at room temperature, high shear modulus and chemical and electrochemical stability against Li. Despite these properties, Li filament propagation has been observed through LLZO at current densities below what is practical. By combining recent achievements in reducing interface resistance and optimizing microstructure, we demonstrate Li cycling at current densities competitive with Li-ion. Li|LLZO|Li cells are capable of cycling at up to 0.9 ± 0.7 mA cm−2, 3.8 ± 0.9 mA cm−2, and 6.0 ± 0.7 mA cm-2 at room temperature, 40 and 60 °C, respectively. Extended stability is shown in Li plating/stripping tests that passed 3 mAh cm−2 charge per cycle for a cumulative capacity of 702 mAh cm−2 using a 1 mA cm−2 current density. These results demonstrate that solid-state batteries using metallic Li anodes can approach charge/discharge rates and cycling stability comparable to SOA Li-ion.