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Researchers from Upper Austria revolutionise batteries

Heavy batteries are still required to operate electric-powered vehicles © Kreisel Electric

Keysight Technologies in Linz is working on the battery of the future within the context of the project NanoBat in cooperation with Kreisel Electric GmbH, Johannes Kepler University of Linz and nine other partners from the EU. The project is designed to develop new nanotechnological methods to accelerate the charging of lithium-ion batteries, reduce production costs and extend the service life of batteries. In turn, this should contribute to further driving electromobility and a clean energy supply forward. A nanotechnological toolbox for lithium-ion batteries is to be developed in the NanoBat project. The focus will be on a SEI (Solid Electrolyte Interphase) layer which creates a microscopically thin layer between the liquid electrolyte and the solid electrode during the first charging of a battery. The decomposition of the electrolyte during the first charging creates deposits on the electrode. The solid intermediate layer which is formed is called the SEI layer. The SEI layer is of major importance for the performance and safety of batteries but can only be characterised and optimised with difficulty on the basis of currently existing technologies.

Cheaper batteries

With the help of new nanoscale high-frequency methods, NanoBat aims to test and quantify the relevant electrical processes in the battery more effectively than currently available technologies by several orders of magnitude. The findings serve as the basis to accelerate the phase of the initial battery charging and thus reduce the costs of manufacturing batteries. The initial charging can normally take up to a week and entails high production costs. Accordingly, all factors such as temperature and voltage have to be right in order to preserve an optimal SEI layer. However, up until now the corresponding processes have not yet been sufficiently researched.

You can read more here about the topic of research and development in Austria.

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