Novel/Alloy Intermetallic Composite Anode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Danielle Applestone, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Sukeun Yoon, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering

Background/unmet need

Lithium-ion batteries primarily use a carbon-based anode. However, carbon anodes have certain limitations such as:
- Limited gravimetric capacity and volumetric capacity
- Possible plating of lithium due to the charge-discharge voltage close to that of metallic lithium and formation of solid-electrolyte interfacial (SEI) layers, resulting in safety concerns
- Poisoning by dissolved manganese leached from spinel lithium manganese oxide cathodes that lead to poor cycle life of cells fabricated with spinel manganese oxide cathode and carbon anode

To overcome these difficulties, there has been extensive investigation on alternative anode materials such as alloy anodes. However, currently available alternative anodes suffer from poor cycle life or degradation in other electrochemical performance factors.

Invention Description

Dr. Manthiram and his team have developed a novel nano-composite material that we believe can replace carbon anodes for certain applications in lithium-ion batteries. This technology offers much higher gravimetric capacities than carbon anodes, as well as much higher volumetric capacities. The high gravimetric and volumetric energy densities are appealing for portable and transportation applications, allowing end users to employ smaller form factors. These new nanocomposites are also expected to provide improved safety over competitive carbon anodes due to:
- a higher operating voltage versus metallic lithium and the consequent suppression of lithium plating
- a suppression of the formation of undesired solid-electrolyte interfacial (SEI) layers

They may also offer higher tolerance to manganese poisoning when combined with a lithium manganese oxide spinel cathode, which is one of the leading high power cathodes for transportation applications.

Benefits/Advantages

  • Higher gravimetric capacity than the currently used carbon anodes
  • Improved safety over competitive carbon anodes

Features

    Higher operating voltage that suppresses chance of lithium plating and formation of solid-electrolyte interfacial (SEI) layers 

Market potential/applications

Lithium-ion batteries 

IP Status