Issue Date: May 28, 2012
Sodium-Ion Cell Goes Solid State
A solid-state electrolyte made from a sodium orthothiophosphate (Na3PS4) glass can power a sodium-ion battery at room temperature, report researchers from Osaka Prefecture University, in Japan (Nat. Commun., DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1843). Sodium-ion batteries hold promise as a less expensive alternative to lithium-ion batteries, but right now the technology requires high operating temperatures and involves a liquid electrolyte that may leak. Akitoshi Hayashi and colleagues envision a solid-state sodium-ion battery that works at ambient temperatures. His group prepared the electrolyte by heating a Na3PS4 glass to 270 ºC, then precipitating out a crystallized glass, or glass-ceramic. A solid-state cell made from the electrolyte with sodium-tin alloy and titanium disulfide electrodes worked through 10 charge cycles at room temperature. Although the cell’s capacity was only 40% of the theoretical capacity, the researchers are working to improve its performance by developing new electrode materials and modifying the structure of the electrolyte.
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