Rapid material design for solid-state batteries awarded MIT Energy Initiative grant

Eight individuals and teams from MIT were recently awarded $150,000 grants through the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Seed Fund Program to support promising novel energy research. 

The highly competitive annual program received a total of 82 proposals from 88 researchers representing 17 departments, labs, and centers at MIT. The applications, which came from a range of disciplines, all aim to help advance a low-carbon energy system and address key climate challenges. 

One of these teams includes Professor Elsa Olivetti and Professor Jennifer Rupp. Their interdisciplinary team will use the grant to develop an automated synthetic process to speed up the discovery, design, and construction of new ceramic material components for solid-state lithium-ion batteries (SSBs), which have the potential to increase safety and energy efficiency as compared to more conventional liquid-electrolyte batteries.

One of the major challenges with implementing SSBs is the need for a high ceramic manufacturing temperature to make key components, resulting in a high-cost, time-consuming synthesis that doesn’t easily translate into industrially relevant manufacturing. Looking to overcome this obstacle, the team has identified the potential for a low-temperature process to synthesize the ceramic components.