Samsung has presented a new type of solid-state battery technology, which it says is smaller than current lithium-ion batteries, while offering greater energy density and higher capacities, as well as slower degradation.

According to Samsung, solid-state batteries utilise solid electrolytes, unlike lithium-ion batteries that use liquid electrolytes, making them demonstrably safer. However, the lithium metal anodes that are frequently used in solid-state batteries are prone to trigger the growth of dendrites.

These can reduce a battery’s lifespan and safety, but the company’s researchers have found a way to overcome those undesirable effects. The team discovered that by incorporating a silver-carbon (Ag-C) composite layer as the anode, the battery was able to support a larger capacity, a longer life cycle, and had enhanced overall safety.

Measuring just five µm (micrometers) thick, the Ag-C nanocomposite layer allowed the team to reduce anode thickness and increase energy density up to 900 Wh/L. It also enabled them to make their prototype approximately 50% smaller by volume than a conventional lithium-ion battery.

The company’s research is expected to help drive the expansion of electric vehicles, and based on the team’s testing with a prototype pouch cell, its solid-state battery would enable an EV to travel up to 800 km on a single charge and feature a life cycle of over 1,000 charges.