Eutectic alloys foils as integrated metal anodes for lithium-ion batteries

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Karl Kreder III , Texas Materials Institute
  • Brian Heligman , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Although rechargeable non-aqueous lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are ubiquitous, ranging from consumer electronics to electric vehicles, current technology needs to be further improved to meet future demand. To this end, recent research has focused on improving the 15 gravimetric energy density of LIBs graphite anodes through the addition of alloying compounds such as silicon, tin, germanium, and aluminum. Unfortunately, efforts to increase energy density by adding higher theoretical capacity alloying compounds have been met with limited success due to the low weight percentages (>10 wt.%) that can be successfully added without significantly compromising first cycle coulombic efficiency, rate capability, and cyclability.

Invention Description

This invention is directed to multiphase metal foil alloys anodes for use in non-aqueous batteries; for instance, lithium-ion, sodium ion, calcium-ion and magnesium ion batteries.

Integrated metal foil anodes (IMFA) hold great potential for replacing traditional graphite/copper anodes in lithium-ion batteries. Integrated metal anodes are metal foils which are comprised of nanosize network of lithium-alloying metal interdigitated with a current collector. The IMFA removes the need for a separate inactive copper foil current collector, thereby allowing a dramatic increase in the effective capacity (from 150 maAh/g to ≥300 mAh/g) while decreasing volume expansion.

In addition to lithium-ion chemistries, the disclosed anodes can be advantageously deployed in other alkali metal and alkaline earth metal systems; for instance, sodium-ion, calcium ion, and magnesium-ion batteries.

Benefits/Advantages

     Integrated metal foil anodes double gravimetric and volumetric energy density of graphite/coper anodes, while decreasing the cost per mAh by half.

Features

  • Eliminating the current collector (copper foil) in the anode effectively doubles the gravimetric capacity of the IMFA compared to graphite/copper anodes, while maintaining high coulombic efficiency and low first cycle losses.
  • Additionally, it dramatically simplifies the construction of lithium-ion batteries by reducing anode complexity while also reducing costs.

Market potential/applications

 Rechargeable lithium ion battery markets

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status

  • 1 PCT patent application filed