As portable consumer electronics have increased in popularity and performance, lithium-ion batteries have rapidly replaced traditional rechargeable chemistries like nickel cadmium (NiCd) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH).
However, traditional lithium-ion batteries use a powerful but potentially dangerous combination of a liquid electrolyte and often fragile separator materials that can lead to leakage, fire, and even explosion. In aviation, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports a lithium-ion battery incident affecting airports, passenger flights, or cargo operations on a near-weekly pace. The US Fire Administration has attributed nearly 200 recent fires and explosions to malfunctioning lithium batteries. For consumer electronics, US Consumer Product Safety Commission lists millions of devices recalled due to lithium battery safety concerns. To avoid these problems, solid-state lithium batteries replace problematic materials with stable alternatives that won’t catch fire or explode.
In addition to improved safety, solid-state lithium batteries can be manufactured in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and – because they can be manufactured without a bulky pouch – enable significantly thinner end products. The materials and chemistry also reduce internal charge leakage, leading to improved battery life in long-duration, low-power applications.