Breton Electrochemical Division

What is LiFT?

LiFT (Lithium Fluorinated Titania): a unique solid state electrolyte for high performance lithium batteries

LiFT shows (graphs):
- Room temperature single-ion conductivity of about 3 10-4 S cm-1
- High conductivity at high temperatures, making it suitable for all-solid Li batteries applications in hot environments. This new solid-state electrolyte has many advantages in terms of:
  - device fabrication (facile shaping, patterning and integration)
  - stability (non-volatile)
  - safety (non-explosive)

Nowadays, among the most challenging classes of materials for the development of high-energy density lithium batteries are electrolytes and high-capacity, high-voltage cathode materials.

A considerable interest is attracted by metallic lithium anode-based batteries because of their high specific capacity: a significant research effort is recently devoted to the design and preparation of new lithium-conducting electrolytes.

A new concept of electrolyte based on a solid-state lithium single-ion conductor is proposed by Breton Electrochemical Division. This novel electrolyte opens new perspectives in the development of advanced lithium batteries.

The electrolyte is obtained by direct reaction of nanometric fluorine-doped TiO2 (TiF) with molten metallic lithium, and consists of nanoparticles with surface anionic groups neutralized by lithium cations: this nanopowder is labelled LiFT.

Powder X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM) measurements show that LiFT has an - anatase - like  “core” structure, with Li cations only located on the external lithium-rich shell. Thus, no intercalation processes of Li ion in “core” LiFT take place.

In addition, it is demonstrated that lithium cations can migrate through the grain boundaries of the electrolyte in a very effective way, achieving:

1) room-temperature single-ion conductivity of about 3 10-4 S cm-1 
2) excellent electrochemical stability
3) high exchange current density

All these features, together with an easy synthesis process, which is based on precursors obtained from very cheap starting materials, make LiFT a very attractive material for application in several fields such as:

a) all-solid-state lithium batteries
b) molten electrode lithium batteries
c) nanocomposite electrolytes
d) lithium-air batteries