A pilot line to produce a revolutionary 3D solid state battery is being set up in The Netherlands.
The €4.5m ($5m) line at the Holst Centre in Eindhoven is funded by the Province of Noord-Brabant, the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy and TNO. It aims to produce a prototype that proves the technology works and can be mass-produced.
Most solid state battery designs are layers of thin-film materials with a ceramic electrolyte. Instead, the 3D battery developed by TNO are made by covering billions of posts with ultra-thin layers of functional material using spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD). This creates a 3D structure with a very large surface area and very short distances between both battery electrodes but needs new manufacturing techniques.
This means the lithium ions only have to travel a short distance, speeding up charging and discharge times with little or no danger of fire or explosion. As a result, the first applications are expected to be in wearable electronics. In the longer term, larger batteries will have to be developed for vehicles.
“Our researchers are pioneers in the field of 3D solid-state architecture. By applying spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD), a technology developed in Eindhoven by TNO together with industrial partners, the battery layers can be uniformly deposited on a 3D structure, resulting in a new battery technology that can vastly improve the safety, charging speed and lifespan of existing lithium-ion batteries,” said Ton van Mol, Managing Director of Holst Centre for TNO. “We are delighted that the Province, the Ministry and TNO also believe in this important development for the Netherlands and invest in a pilot line. With this, we can build a prototype that will demonstrate that this promising technology is suitable for large-scale battery production.”
Next: ALD for solid state battery production
ALD is already used for volume manufacturing of 3D microcapacitors: 3D MICROCAPACITORS REACH RECORD LEVELS as well as by VW-backed battery materials startup Forge Nano.
Small solid state batteries are in production for wearables by Iten in France: ITEN STARTS PRODUCTION OF SOLID STATE MICROBATTERIES