Holst Centre deploys its expertise in thin-film technologies to address these challenges. Working on both energy storage and generation, we explore ways to improve existing lithium ion batteries, create innovative new battery architectures and further the development of efficient photovoltaic solar panels. In this way, we provide the building blocks to help reduce carbon emissions and improve people's lifestyles.
Building better batteries
Improved batteries are key to a greener, healthier future. Rechargeable lithium-based batteries have huge potential: from enabling new generations of wearable and implantable devices to powering electric vehicles or balancing renewable energy supply and demand. Holst Centre uses its thin-film expertise to enhance lithium battery performance in two ways. Our interfacial engineering improves the safety and lifespan of existing lithium-ion technologies. We use spatial atomic layer deposition (sALD) to optimize the interface between the electrodes and the electrolyte materials in many different battery designs and cell chemistries.
Secondly, we are pioneering a novel 3D solid-state architecture that combines safety, short charging times, high charge density and a longer lifespan. Here too, the atomic-scale control of sALD allows us to create extremely high aspect-ratio structures (100:1) that maximize the internal surface area while ensuring excellent layer thickness and homogeneity.
Development of solid state batteries
High-efficiency thin-film photovoltaics
Perovskite-based photovoltaics (PV) are one of the most exciting and fastest developing solar power technologies to date. The basic materials are relatively abundant and easy to process, with no need of vacuum or high temperatures for deposition. This allows cells to be produced at high speeds on flexible and transparent substrates in roll-to-roll processes. Altogether, perovskite-based cells and modules can be low cost, flexible, and customizable in shape and size, creating many integration opportunities into building materials and everyday objects. What's more, they boast some of the highest efficiencies of any thin-film PV cell. Through our collaboration with colleagues in Solliance, Holst Centre is at the forefront of perovskite-based PV development, with particular focus on making this technology ready for market application. Solliance and its partners regularly report record-breaking cells, modules and tandems.