The overall approach to building electronics components such as batteries and capacitors has not changed since their first invention around the 18th century. The improvements have mostly been focusing on the use of different materials for the electrodes, or anodes and cathodes. On the battery side, the incremental innovations have typically involved improving the energy density of the anode/cathode or some modifications to electrolyte chemistry mainly focusing on the type of charge carrying ions. However, these approaches are incremental and not sufficient to address the need for higher capacity, fast recharge/discharge rates, stability, scalability and cost reduction. The energy storage industry has reached a plateau forming a high barrier to reach the goal of carbon emission free future.
Lithium has the highest electrochemical potential of all metals and highest energy density of all potential battery materials. However, electrochemical plating of lithium is known to generate dendrites that: reduce the efficiency, can short the battery, prevents safe operation of the cell even leading to violent explosions. Current attempted solutions to this problem are only leading to incremental improvements.