Researchers at Berkeley Lab and Carnegie Mellon University have designed new solid electrolytes that light the path to wider electrification of transportation. (Image courtesy of Jinsoo Kim)

To produce a rechargeable battery that power electric aircraft, scientists have endeavored to replace the graphite anodes currently used in batteries with lithium metal anodes. A new class of soft, solid electrolytes – made from both polymers and ceramics –suppress dendrites in that early nucleation stage, before they can propagate and cause the battery to fail.

The materials have been integrated into larger-format batteries for both EVs and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or eVTOL.