SK Innovation will collaborate with Nobel laureate and professor John B Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin to develop next generation batteries, the company said on Thursday.
They research solid-state electrolyte together to realize lithium metal batteries, the South Korean energy company said.
The goal is to increase the energy density of batteries to increase travel distance of electric vehicles (EV) per charge. It will also increase battery stability, SK Innovation said.
To develop lithium metal batteries, the dendrite growth must be resolved. Lithium begins to stack up on the cathode surface when the battery is charged to form dendritic, or tree-like, growth. The growth can damage separators that divide the anode and cathode which can lead to fires or explosions.
Current lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolyte but using solids can resolve this. It will use metal for the cathode.
Lithium metal battery can also reach energy density of 1000Wh per liter. Current batteries are limited to 800Wh per liter. Increasing energy density will allow more batteries to be packed in a EV that can make them lighter and travel longer.
SK Innovation said the collaboration will contribute to the batter industry greatly.