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Understanding slurry formulations to guide solution-processing of solid electrolytes...

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Journal of Power Sources
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Scalable processing of thin solid electrolytes is crucial for engineering solid-state batteries with practical energy densities. To leverage existing battery production infrastructure, pathways for solution processing of solid electrolyte films must be investigated. Roll-to-roll compatible film preparation of aluminum-doped lithium lanthanum zirconate oxide was studied. Four slurry configurations accounting for different solvent properties and solid loadings were evaluated to investigate the ternary interactions within the dispersions. Rheological and coating stability analyses were carried out on the processed slurries. The analysis and characterization indicated that improved component interactions within the ethanol/toluene system result in homogenized distribution of the particles, binder, and plasticizer, and enable the extraction of free-standing thin films with thicknesses of 20 μm and large area (>15 in.2). The drawbacks and opportunities of several protocols for high temperature sintering of the dried green films were investigated. This study highlights the importance of engineering dispersions during the development of processing protocols for solid electrolytes and provides guidelines for the best practices that can be leveraged for solution processing–based fabrications for a wide range of solid electrolyte materials.