The chemical space within a battery is comprised of a multitude of different elements and structures that cross influence each other. The interface between the electrode and the electrolyte, the current collector and the electrode, the active material and the additives – all affects the performance of the battery. Even slight modifications in the electrode structure, the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) or the processing conditions can lead to a drastic change in the battery performance. The combinatorics of this space is enormous and exhaustive to explore in the lab.
Batteries Interface Genome (BIG) establish a new basis for understanding the interfacial processes that govern the operation and functioning of the battery. These processes determine whether the ultra-high-performance batteries developed are safe to operate and will exhibit long lifetime. The studies of ion transport mechanisms through interfaces and, more challenging, the visualisation of the role of electrons in these interfacial are profound in the quest for future battery technologies for vehicles, large-scale grid storage, mobility devices, etc. BIG is also highly adaptive to different chemistries, materials, and designs, starting from beyond state-of-the-art Li-ion technology.
BIG and MAP are linked via the use of AI-based techniques revealing the complex connections and features between scales that are imperceptible to humans. We envision more accurate models that address more realistic interfaces, aging, and degradation mechanisms. The forward vision is to track inverse design of future battery materials and technologies, based on a profound understanding of the chemical and physical properties in the battery systems.