A research team from Pohang University of Science and Technology, led by Professor Byoungwoo Kang and Dr. Heetaek Park, has developed a high-energy, highly efficient all-solid-state sodium-air battery. This innovative battery uses Nasicon, a Na superionic conductor and solid electrolyte, to address efficiency issues commonly found in metal-air batteries, such as the formation of carbonate byproducts. Nasicon’s composition, which includes sodium, silicon, and zirconium, allows it to conduct ions in the solid state while maintaining high electrochemical and chemical stability.

The key breakthrough in this research is the battery’s ability to reversibly use air and sodium without additional equipment, enhancing energy density and efficiency. This is achieved by protecting sodium metal electrodes from air exposure and enabling the breakdown of carbonates during electrochemical reactions, thereby increasing the working voltage and reducing the voltage gap during charge and discharge cycles. The solid-state sodium-air cell also features a high kinetic capability due to an in-situ formed catholyte that facilitates rapid sodium ion conduction within the electrode.

This development is a significant step forward for next-generation metal-air batteries, offering a stable solid electrolyte-based platform that functions effectively in ambient conditions. The project received support from the National Research Foundation of Korea and BK21(+), and the findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

For more details, you can read the full article on the Pohang University of Science and Technology’s website.