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Imec’s next-gen battery powers the electric future

Imec, world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, has fabricated a new type of battery for electric vehicles. Although these batteries require additional development, they will outperform current batteries in the future, allowing us to drive much farther with the same car.

Boosting an electric future

The future of mobility will be largely electric, powered by fast-charging, safe, and compact batteries. But today’s rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have some room for improvement: they don’t provide enough energy for long-distance travel and take too long to charge.

That’s why imec’s researchers are working on a next generation of batteries, in which they replace the wet electrolyte with a solid one to increase the energy density of the battery. Philippe Vereecken, principal scientist and program manager at imec: “Our work proves that we can make solid-state batteries that have the potential to exceed the capabilities of wet batteries, using manufacturing processes similar to those for wet batteries.”

“The prototype we developed has a higher energy density, longer lifetime, improved safety and a shorter charging time,” Philippe continues. “These assets combined add up to a promising compact battery technology for tomorrow’s long-range vehicles.”

In tandem with the industry

Bringing innovative battery technology to fruition and transferring it to the market will require the involvement and commitment of the world’s major material suppliers and battery producers. Therefore, imec performs its battery R&D as a collaborative program for open innovation to which it invites all interested parties.

“And because our prototype uses a wet electrolyte that is solidified once it’s inside the battery cell, battery manufacturers don’t even have to drastically change their production process to make them,” Philippe concludes.

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Reported by
11 April 2018

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