Project Innovation + Advantages:
The University of Michigan aims to develop a new type of battery separator that can completely stop dendrite formation. The key innovation is a special mechanism that suppresses dendrite growth with the University of Michigan’s wet-process-synthesized film as a separator or coating. When an electrode surface starts to lose stability upon lithium deposition, any protrusion will cause deformation of the film, generating a local shielding effect that deflects lithium ions away from the tip of the protrusion. This slows down the tip growth and makes the lithium metal surface flat. Lithium ions thus spontaneously deposit to a flat surface without dendrite formation. The dendrite-suppression capability could be several orders of magnitude stronger than the limit of mechanical blocking by current separators or solid-state electrolytes.
The new technology’s mechanism ensures lithium deposition to form a flat surface even if the initial substrate surface has significant protrusions, ensuring the safety and viability of lithium ion and lithium metal batteries.