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A*STAR’s NanoBio Lab designs safer high performing batteries

The NBL research team (left to right): Dr. Ayman AbdelHamid, Prof. Jackie Y. Ying and Mr. Jian Liang Cheong.

Researchers from A*STAR’s NanoBio Lab (NBL) have designed a semi-solid electrolyte for lithium-sulfur batteriy that improves their safety without compromising their performance.

This breakthrough paves the way for lithium-sulfur batteries to be used as efficient power solutions across diverse electronic and energy storage applications.

NanoBio Lab is a multidisciplinary lab-incubator that specialises in using nanotechnology. They create new materials and systems with unique functions and enhanced properties for advanced applications.

The NanoBio Lab works closely with hospitals and industry to advance medicine, food safety, environmental monitoring and energy.

NanoBio Lab’s research focus includes high-precision drug delivery vehicles, biocompatible materials for cell culture and medical use, portable detection kits for infectious diseases and food pathogens, intelligent sensors for environmental pollutants and food fraud, organs-on-chip for toxicology testing, advanced water purification membranes and innovative energy storage solutions.

Under the direction of renowned nanotechnology researcher, Professor Jackie Y. Ying, the NanoBio Lab works at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, engineering, and medicine to develop new nanocomposites, biomaterials, synthetic molecules, devices and biosystems to tackle major global challenges.

The nationally funded Laboratory falls under the remit of The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) – Singapore’s lead public sector R&D agency, spearheading economic-oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology bridging the gap between academia and industry.

New innovative method improves safety in lithium-sulfur battery

Safety is an important issue hindering the use of lithium batteries by industry, due to their highly flammable liquid organic electrolytes that leak easily, and their reliance on thermally and mechanically unstable electrode separators. While solid-state electrolytes have shown potential for improving the safety profile of lithium batteries, their poor electrode/electrolyte contact and limited ionic conductivity have resulted in major conductivity bottlenecks and low performance.

“Hybrid quasi-solid electrolytes comprising both liquid and solid components have emerged as a practical compromise to obtain safer batteries while maintaining good performance. However, the high resistance of the solid component has thus far limited the performance of such batteries.”

“To overcome this, we have reengineered the microstructure of the solid component. Our solution eliminates electrolyte leakage, and is thermally and mechanically stable” said Prof. Jackie Y. Ying who heads the NBL research team

NanoBio Lab Working Towards Commercialisation

A lithium-sulfur battery made using NBL’s ‘novel electrolyte showed high capacity, fast charge/discharge capability, and interesting polysulfide shuttling control that stabilized the battery’s performance.’

It has reached the highest known performance achieved by lithium-sulfur hybrid quasi-solid batteries.

The NBL team is currently developing novel lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur and lithium solid-state batteries towards commercialisation.

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