Berkeley Lab’s High Performance Silicon Monoxide Electrode has a capacity retention of more than 90% after ~500 cycles, which translates into a ~20% improvement over the limited energy density of conventional graphite anode-based lithium-ion batteries, enabling next-generation mobile electronics and electric/plug-in vehicles.
APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
Next generation, high energy density, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for
- Electric / plug-in vehicles
- Portable electronics such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets
- Abundant, affordable silicon oxide enables high energy density in lithium-ion batteries
- Fast throughput processes with great mass and morphology control for commercialization
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a technology to fabricate high-capacity silicon-oxide (SiO) electrodes that could improve the performance of commercial lithium-ion batteries by ~20%. Specifically, the Berkeley Lab SiO electrode has a capacity retention of more than 90% after ~500 cycles.
The technology uses a low concentration of functional conductive polymer binder to enhance the cycling stability of SiO electrodes. Because of its inherent conductivity, the polymer binder eliminates the need for conductive additives, which increases the loading of active materials and subsequently increases the energy density of the lithium-ion cell. To further enhance SiO anode performance, loss of cell capacity is prevented by using stabilized lithium metal powder (SLMP®) to compensate for the large amounts of lithium ions consumed by the SiO electrode in the first cycle.
Manufacturers of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are limited to using conventional graphite-based anodes, which do not have the optimal specific capacity to meet growing consumer demand for high-performance portable devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, or electric/plug-in vehicles that exceed today’s state-of-the-art. SiO materials have long been an attractive alternative to pure Si or tin materials in the rechargeable lithium-ion-battery industry because of their high specific capacity (three times that of carbon), relatively low volume expansion, and small initial specific surface area. Despite their promise, however, high loading SiO electrodes have been difficult to achieve due to excessive volume change of the micron-size particles (compared to graphite), and the consumption of lithium (low first cycle Coulombic efficiency) during the activation process. The Berkeley Lab invention is the only technology to overcome these obstacles in high performance lithium-ion batteries.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: 2014-048