Innovative basic research toward creation of high-performance battery
Lithium ion secondary batteries are excellent energy storage systems with high energy density, and are widely used as the power source for mobile equipment. However, when considering large-scaled applications such as power source for electric vehicles and solar and wind power generation, further advancement not only in energy density but also power chemistry is needed. There are various other challenges that need to be tackled including difficulties in the design and development of non-combustible devices, reducing costs, etc.
In the current lithium ion secondary batteries, the lithium ion intake capacity of the carbon materials used for the anode is limited. In cathodes, less than half of the electrode is effectively used, also limiting the capacity. In addition, current organic electrolytes have problems of their safety and low ionic conductivity.
To solve these problems, we are currently designing and developing new materials for electrodes and electrolytes, as well as promoting the exploration of batteries that are designed under the new principles. Designing at the atomic and molecular levels would remarkably enhance the performance of energy storage devices.
High expectations on the innovation of storage technologies to solve global-scale energy problems Like any other advanced nation, Japan is now facing critical energy problems: one is the growing energy restrictions in terms of structure, and another is the concerns over global warming. Our country’s first and foremost task is to explore new markets by leading the world in developing high performance storage batteries, and reinvigorating industrial competitive strength. High hopes are placed on the innovation of storage technologies based on totally new concepts that would defy conventional wisdom.