Samsung is getting closer to manufacturing solid-state batteries

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After several years of research and development, Samsung seems to be finally ready to produce solid-state batteries. According to the Korean media, the company has already worked out its manufacturing strategies for these advanced batteries. It’s unclear when these batteries will be commercially available, though.

Samsung has been working on developing solid-state batteries for at least a decade now. Over the past ten years or so, the company has filed several patents for the technology. However, it never appeared to have made notable progress in the development of the new type of battery. But, a new report from The Elec suggests the Korean conglomerate’s decade-long work will soon bear fruits.

For the uninitiated, solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte, which is an electrically conducting medium in batteries that allows the movement of ions between the positive (anode) and negative (cathode) electrodes to produce current.

The lithium-ion batteries found in smartphones today have a liquid electrolyte. This requires a separator between the anode and cathode. Solid-state batteries don’t require a separator, increasing the energy density. These batteries also reduce the risk of ignition.


Samsung will make ceramic-based solid-state batteries

Solid electrolytes can be made with ceramic (sulfide or oxide) or polymer materials, or with composites that combine ceramics and polymers. Samsung will reportedly make ceramic-based solid-state batteries.

It plans to split the manufacturing of these batteries into two internal divisions. Samsung Electro-Mechanics will manufacture oxide-based solid-state batteries for IT products such as smartphones. Samsung SDI, on the other hand, will focus on sulfide-based solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

This split is because industry experts see oxide-based solid-state batteries growing in popularity before sulfide-based solutions. That is likely due to the nature of the two materials.

Oxides have greater stability, making them ideal for mobile products that are likely to be more exposed to extreme environments. Oxide-based batteries also have an advantage in mass production and miniaturization. Sulfides, meanwhile, have high ionic conductivity and are suitable for making larger batteries.


Moreover, oxide-based solid-state batteries share many technological aspects with multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), something that Samsung Electro-Mechanics has expertise in. This may enable the company to quickly progress through the development work and commercially launch its first oxide-based solid-state battery for smartphones. Samsung SDI, meanwhile, is expected to operate a pilot line for manufacturing sulfide-based solid-state batteries within the next few months.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have a timeline regarding the market launch of Samsung’s solid-state batteries. Several other companies are working on this battery technology. Japanese firm Murata, which is the world’s largest MLCC company, is working with local automaker Toyota on this technology. Murata acquired the battery business from its compatriot Sony in 2017.

Xiaomi also recently showcased a prototype smartphone powered by a solid-state battery. It remains to be seen which of these companies commercially releases a solid-state battery first.