Tesla Motors – Model S lithium-ion battery pack
A Woburn, Massachusetts, company may be attracting big name attention for its solid-state technology that it says can withstand higher temperatures and offer higher capacity. For battery makers, producing a stable solid to withstand the rigors of charging and discharging has proved elusive.
Ionic Materials said in February that it had secured $65 million in funding from investors during its most recent round of fundraising. Axios reported in February that investors included electronics giant Samsung and consumer electronics maker Dyson.
Sun Microsystems and Java co-founder Bill Joy sits on Ionic's board of directors and told Wired last year that Ionic's solid polymer battery formula was his "black swan."
"…I don’t have a word for this new breakthrough, a solid that conducts ions at room temperature. Maybe it should be called an ional. This is a scientific breakthrough that should receive awards," Joy told Wired.
Ionic Materials didn't immediately comment on the report, but in announcing the successful cash raise in February the company said it had attracted money from "companies from the battery manufacturing, consumer electronic and electric vehicle ecosystem who will be working…to speed the development of its solid polymer electrolyte battery material."
The company's proposed solid polymer electrolyte material could prove to be a boon for electric cars in making lithium-ion batteries store and discharge energy more safely at various temperatures.
Dyson knows the struggle to develop solid-state batteries well. Last year, the vacuum-maker and investor walked away from three patents for solid-state batteries that a Michigan-based startup developed. Dyson reportedly invested $90 million in the technology.