Lithium metal, and certain other battery concepts, are known to have the potential for far better energy storage performance than today’s lithium-ion technologies. But lithium metal in particular is held back by safety concerns thanks to the frequent occurrence of dendrites and whiskers inside the battery.
These are tiny, needle-like projections that can grow inside a battery, and cause a number of undesirable effects, including, in a worst case scenario, complete battery failure and even fires. Now, scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have been able to pinpoint one of the root causes of this problem in a lithium-metal battery, which should allow further research into new electrolyte recipes that get around the problem entirely.
Find out more at pv magazine