The increasing demand for portable systems both in and outside the workplace calls for continued improvement in rechargeable battery performance. As well as high energy density and long service life, safety and environmental concerns also play an important role in battery design.
These requirements are well met by a lithium ion battery developed jointly by the Fraunhofer Institute and the Faculty of Technology at the University of Kiel, Germany.
Without compromising the high-energy density typical of lithium systems, the new battery contains a solid-state electrode instead of conventional liquid electrolytes and the materials used are sufficiently inert, dispensing with the need for elaborate leakproof metal casing.
The raw materials are in paste form and the batteries are produced using an inexpensive thick-film method. They can be laid down on rigid or flexible substrate, but it is also possible to extrude the paste as a film which can be laminated to form flexible foil batteries.