Solid State Lithium and Lithium-Ion Batteries

Dr. John Bates, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friends of ORNL,

The FORNL Lecture for
Tuesday, August 10, 2021, will be -

                                      Solid State Lithium and Lithium-Ion Batteries

                                      Current Research and Potential Applications











The principal distinguishing feature of solid state batteries (SSB) is the electrolyte.  This material allows lithium ions to move between the anode and cathode during the discharge cycle while forcing electrons to move through an external circuit to perform work.  The reverse occurs on the charge cycle.  One of the major advantages of a SSB is safety.  Should “thermal runaway” occur because of a short between the anode and cathode, the battery will not catch on fire as will happen with liquid organic electrolytes currently in use. This is particularly important in the case of electric vehicles. Thermal runaway in mobile device batteries also can be unpleasant experiences. 

A lithium-ion battery is one in which the lithium ions extracted from a cathode material such as LiCoO2 on the charge cycle are typically stored in a graphite anode.  Other anode materials such as aluminum, tin and silicon have been used as well.  Compared to a battery with a pure lithium metal anode, the tradeoff is a lower volumetric energy density (Wh/l) as well as a lower specific energy (Wh/kg)

A brief history of the development of intercalation cathode materials such as LiCoO2 will be presented, and a review of some of the research on thin film batteries at ORNL and other organizations will include a few of the perceived applications for powering small devices. Successful commercialization of thin film batteries encourages the view that the daunting problems facing large scale SSBs are solvable but perhaps not as soon as advertised.

                                                                                       Dr. John Bates
                                                            Independent Consultant for Battery Development

Dr. John Bates received a Bachelors in Chemistry, and a PhD in Physical Chemistry, both from the University of Kentucky.  He has been a Research Associate at the University of Maryland, a long time Group Leader in ORNL’s Solid State Division, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) with Excellatron Solid state, CTO with Thin Film Battery, Inc., and CTO with Oak Ridge Micro-Energy. He currently is a consultant for companies that have a product idea requiring a small rechargeable battery. 

His areas of research have included thin-film ionic and electronic conductors and rechargeable lithium batteries, growth and properties of ceramic thin films, electrical properties of solid-solid interfaces, ion transport and dielectric properties of solid ionic conductors, Raman and infrared spectroscopy of radiation-induced defects in solids, molecular and inorganic crystals, matrix isolated species, and molten salts.

He is a UT Battelle Distinguished Inventor, recipient of the Electrochemical Society Battery Research Award, an R&D 100 Award (Thin-Film Battery), Lockheed-Martin Energy Systems Inventor of the Year, Department of Energy Division of Materials Sciences Award, and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He holds twenty-six patents on thin film batteries and materials

The meeting will be remote via Zoom!

Meeting Agenda:

11:30 a.m.
Lunch on your own at home.
You may sign into Zoom and see/talk to your colleagues prior to the beginning of the meeting.

12:00 noon
Meeting begins.

End of presentation and questions.