Samsung has made a major breakthrough in the field of solid-state batteries.

The Korean tech giant last week announced that its Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and Samsung R&D Institute Japan research divisions jointly developed a new type of solid-state battery with improved life and safety compared to current designs.

Solid-state batteries are seen as the next major step in performance for electric cars as they can deliver greater range and safety over current liquid-type batteries like lithium-ion units. But while the technology isn't new, solid-state batteries remain difficult to manufacture on a mass scale. They also don't have the longevity required for automotive applications, where frequent charging at high energy rates is common.

One problem in the area of longevity is the growth of crystals on the lithium anodes of solid-state batteries during charging, which reduces battery lifespan and also causes them to overheat. To address this, Samsung's researchers developed a prototype battery featuring a silver-carbon (Ag-C) composite layer as the anode. They found that this resulted in not only improved life and safety but also more capacity.

Samsung said its prototype could potentially deliver up to 500 miles on a charge and have a life cycle of over 1,000 charges. The technology, the researchers claim, could also allow for batteries half the size of current lithium-ion units.

“The product of this study could be a seed technology for safer, high-performance batteries of the future,” said Dongmin Im, a senior researcher at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. “Going forward, we will continue to develop and refine all-solid-state battery materials and manufacturing technologies to help take EV battery innovation to the next level.”

Unfortunately, Samsung didn't say when its solid-state batteries will be ready for production, but other firms in the field, such as Volkswagen Group and Toyota, have provided an earliest date of 2025.