Dr. Paul Braun from the University of Illinois has developed a new battery cathode without a scaffold. The new structure relies on the active metal oxide material to provide support for the weaker current collector during the manufacturing process, thereby disposing the need to use any inactive material as a support structure. This new method and structure carries a higher volumetric energy density because there is no room wasted on a scaffold.
This technology developed by Professor Sottos and her research team improves capacity in Li-ION batteries with a new type of Si composite anode and will be useful in high capacity battery applications such as electric vehicles and grid-level energy storage. It will allow for higher capacity Li- Ion batteries than those using graphite anodes, and better capacity retention than other Si composite anodes. This is the first Si composite anode to introduce dynamic ionic bonding to achieve self-healing characteristics to overcome volume changes due to lithium intercala- tion and maintain a conductive network.
Si based anodes possess capacities that are much greater than graphite electrodes that are currently in use. However, Si anodes are subject to large volume changes during lithium intercalation, causing breaks in the electrical network and rapid capacity loss. Dr. Sottos’ new anode features self-healing characteristics that have allowed for an 80% capacity retention after 400 charge cycles, resulting in a retained capacity that is still about three times greater than the maximum attainable capacity of a graphite anode.
Dr. Kenis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a non-aqueous lithium-air flow battery configuration that allows for efficient removal and storage of discharge products. This technology has applications in energy storage, particularly in the electric vehicle market due to its improved current density and discharge capacity. In comparison to traditional Li-ion batteries, the Li-air battery is lighter and has a higher practical energy density. This technology helps to overcome the buildup of discharge products.
Prof. Andrew Gewirth from the University of Illinois has developed a new technology which improves the safety, stability and processability of solid state batteries. Commercial liquid electrolytes (LEs) pose a fire and explosion hazard in lithium metal batteries due to the possibility of thermal runaway reactions. Solid electrolytes (SEs) have become a practical option for lithium ion and lithium metal batteries due to their improved safety over commercially available ionic liquids. However, current SE technologies suffer from poor stability and are difficult to process. Prof. Gewirth’s invention enhances the ease of processability of electrolytes for lithium metal batteries, increases the mechanical stability of the electrolyte, reduces the overall cost of the cell, and reduces the overall cell resistance.
SolvSEM has a lower overall cell resistance than its bare pellet counterpart
Stable over 100 cycles | Current density x10 higher than pellet counterpart