Battery Lab winter update: solid-state capabilities added

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This winter, the Battery Lab is expanding to accommodate solid-state battery research for both external users and in-house researchers. Solid-state batteries promise higher energy density and no chance of catching fire. With more development, they could one day replace lithium ion technology.

Funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and by an ARPA-E grant won by Engineering Professor Jeff Sakamoto, the solid-state expansion will include a Lithium Thermal Evaporator and Rapid Thermal Annealing system. The equipment will create high-quality Li metal anode films. The expansion will be located adjacent to the lab’s existing fabrication and characterization facility at the Phoenix Memorial Lab on U-M’s North Campus.

"The solid-state expansion of the lab future-proofs the capabilities of the Battery Lab. We’re excited to offer this new capability to users, “ said Energy Institute Assistant Director of Operations Bruno Vanzieleghem

Travis Thompson, a Research Fellow in the Sakamoto lab, has been selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy honoree. Says Forbes, “Thompson has been working to develop solid-state ceramic batteries using a garnet-based electrolyte."

The Battery Lab continues to attract users and is booked from January through the beginning of March; the lab is welcoming two new customers to the lab this quarter along with four return visitors. The lab is accepting bookings for later in March.

Referenced Faculty: 
Greg Less, U-M Battery Lab Manager