FestBatt: The next step in solid-state batteries

Schematic structure of a solid-state battery. (Graphic: JLU / Elisa Monte)

Schematic structure of a solid-state battery. (Graphic: JLU / Elisa Monte)

The BMBF competence cluster for solid-state batteries (FestBatt) is starting the second funding phase - the characterization platform will be continued under the coordination of KIT

More security, larger storage capacities, shorter charging times - solid-state batteries are expected to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries in almost all performance parameters in the future. The basis for this has been developed by the FestBatt battery competence cluster with the participation of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In a second funding phase, complete battery systems and methods for production are now being developed. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding around 23 million euros.

A further development of the lithium-ion battery could give electromobility the decisive impetus in just a few years. Professor Helmut Ehrenberg, coordinator of the characterization platform in the FestBatt competence cluster at the Institute for Applied Materials (IAM) at KIT, is convinced of this: “Solid-state batteries do without liquid and flammable electrolytes, their chemistry enables higher energy densities and shorter charging times. In addition, toxic and rare materials such as cobalt can be dispensed with. ”The FestBatt competence cluster, which was launched in 2018, is developing this key technology on behalf of the German government and is now starting the second funding phase. The work takes place in strong international competition - in order to open future markets for Europe as quickly as possible, the federal government has bundled the competencies of 17 scientific institutions with FestBatt. These include universities, Helmholtz institutes as well as institutes of the Fraunhofer Society and the Max Planck Society; the work is coordinated as a whole by the Justus Liebig University of Giessen (JLU).

First steps towards mass production

The focus of FestBatt's new funding phase will be the development of cell components and entire solid-state battery cells based on promising electrolytes, and material and process technologies for their production will also be developed. However, there are still a number of scientific and technological challenges to be solved before solid-state batteries can be mass-produced. The characterization platform coordinated by KIT with the participation of the University of Marburg, Forschungszentrum Jülich and JLU will, among other things, characterize contact and interfaces with X-ray, synchrotron and neutron radiation as well as various microscopy techniques on complex multiphase systems.

Advantage through systematic characterization

In the first funding phase of FestBatt, more than 100 researchers worked in transdisciplinary thematic platforms to identify suitable materials and to synthesize different solid electrolytes. The characterization platform systematically examined the materials: The most important influencing variables in the synthesis of solid electrolytes and critical material changes in composites were identified. The further development of solid-state batteries in FestBatt's second funding phase is now building on this. It was only through the development of standardized measurement protocols that it was possible to reliably determine the performance characteristics and classify the very different cell concepts that are being developed with great intensity around the world.

Original publication

Randau, S., Weber, DA, Kötz, O. et al .: Benchmarking the performance of all-solid-state lithium batteries. Nature Energy, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-020-0565-1

About FestBatt

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been funding the second round of the BMBF competence cluster for solid-state batteries (FestBatt) since November 2021 with around 23 million euros for three years. In the second phase, FestBatt consists of an accompanying project and nine joint projects: three cell and four cross-sectional platforms, including the characterization platform coordinated by KIT. FestBatt is closely networked with the other BMBF competence clusters funded in parallel (including ProZell and ExcellBattMat). The competence cluster is also being coordinated in the second funding phase by Professor Jürgen Janek from the Center for Materials Research (ZfM) at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen.

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