Compatible Electrolytes for High-energy, High-power Lithium-ion Batteries

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Wangda Li, B.E. , Texas Materials Institute

Background/unmet need

Nickel-based layered lithium transition-metal oxides as Li-ion cathodes have enjoyed commercial success in recent years. The development of next-generation Ni-rich layered oxides with a 10 gravimetric specific discharge capacity of >200 mAh g-1 would bring an energy density boost of state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells to above 300 Wh kg-1 EVs with 300-plus mile ranges in electric vehicles. This has spurred efforts to develop nickel-rich layered oxides with high nickel concentration (>0.7). Meanwhile, extending the operating voltage window also achieves larger capacities, both of which introduce problems including inferior battery safety and service life. Thus, there is a need to design alternative electrolyte combinations for practical use of high-Ni LiNi1-xMxO2.

Invention Description

In order to address the main scientific issues facing the lithium ion technology and realizing the practical deployment of next-generation high-energy-density nickel-rich layer oxide cathodes, a Prof. Manthiram-led team has developed the design of a new nonaqueous electrolyte system for improved electrode-electrolyte interface capabilities, chemical and electrochemical stability at high voltage, and excellent kinetic properties.

Pouch-type lithium-ion cells are based on a high-capacity nickel-rich layered oxide cathode and a commercial graphite anode. These cells are impregnated with a new electrolyte solution consisting of lithium salts and a sole bulk solvent. The cell show improved capacity and voltage retention during cycling, remarkable high-rate performance and superior resistance to anode lithium plating (especially at low temperatures), and drastically reduced irreversible capacity loss during initial charge-discharge cycles involving the formation of electrode passivating films.

Benefits/Advantages

  • addresses current issues of chemical and electrochemical instability at high operating voltages
  • addresses current issues of limited kinetic properties at ambient and low temperatures
  • addresses current issues of incompatibility with high-energy-density electrode materials

Features

  • Cell stability
  • Rate compatibility
  • Safety
  • Compatibility with emerging high-capacity electrode materials
  • Feasibility

Market potential/applications

Rechargeable battery and electrochemical energy storage markets 

IP Status

  • 1 PCT patent application filed