[Image above] Credit: James Almond; Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

My fellow editor Stephanie said it best last week: “Lithium-ion batteries haven’t had the best buzz lately.”

With the swirling debacle surrounding Samsung’s exploding lithium-ions and NASA’s accidently self-destructing robot, consumer interest in battery safety has seldom been higher.

Which is why ceramic materials are getting their spot in the battery technology limelight.

Solid-state batteries that swap flammable and potentially dangerous liquid electrolytes for solid ones—which are usually made of ceramic materials—offer big potential for improving the safety of lithium-ions. Not to mention that they have also have potential for higher energy densities.

So advances in this area of battery research are exploding (although not literally).

For instance, at MS&T16 in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late October, ACerS Edward Orton Jr. Memorial Lecture speaker Bruce Dunn—the Nippon Sheet Glass Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles—focused his plenary talk on designing ceramics for next-generation energy storage systems.

It’s an area ripe with possibilities for new materials, as our coverage of just a smattering of the research advances here on Ceramic Tech Today can demonstrate.

ACerS member and Fellow Eric Wachsman, director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research, also knows the power of ceramic materials when it comes to energy storage.

Wachsman recently put ceramics in the public eye in a segment on CBS This Morning about some of the research that is happening at the University of Maryland to make safer next-gen batteries. Check it out below!

Credit: CBS This Morning; YouTube