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Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are widely used in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles, and grid-scale energy storage systems. Safety of Li-ion batteries, however, has been called into question repeatedly over the past several years due to a conventional organic electrolyte causing fire and explosion in many cases. Ceramic solid-state electrolyte (SSE) thin films promise a viable solution to addressing the safety issue by blocking the lithium dendrite that causes short circuit and thermal runaway, meanwhile offering high energy density for next-generation Li-ion batteries. However, current SSE thin films have low ionic conductivities, ranging from 10?8 to 10?5 S/cm, which can be attributed to poor material quality.

A research team led by Liangbing Hu at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering recently developed a new method of printing and sintering a variety of SSE thin films. This work, entitled, "Printable, high-performance solid-state electrolyte films," was published on November 18, 2020, in Science Advances. The team named this method "printing and radiative heating" (PRH), which features a solution-based printable technique followed by rapid sintering.

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