Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have documented the aging process of lithium metal batteries.

Research shows that choosing the right electrolyte can minimize the lumpy corrosion that causes aging.

The same process that drains your phone’s battery, even when turned off, is another major problem for lithium metal batteries. As they are being developed for the next generation of small and light electronic devices, long-range electric vehicles and other applications.

Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have studied the aging process of batteries for the first time on an atomic scale. They found that the nature of the battery electrolyte that transfers charge between the electrodes has a large impact on aging – a factor that needs to be considered when designing electrolytes that maximize battery performance.

The study also found that a lithium metal battery can be depleted by 2-3% in just 24 hours. Although this charge drain slows down over time, it builds up quickly and can shorten battery life by up to 25%.

Thus, to minimize such losses, it is necessary to get rid of the corrosive nature of the electrolyte.