In a world rapidly stepping up its reliance on electrical energy our absolute best battery friend has become the lithium-ion battery (LIB). It powers everything from mobile phones and laptops, to electric vehicles (EVs). And, as the number of applications that rely on Li-ion batteries increases so do the demands and challenges.
So, even though several surveys show that actually owning an EV quashes many concerns - such as limited range and reliability - for potential buyers not all of their anxieties have been addressed, often affecting their decision to buy. Trepidations around cost, charging infrastructure, and time to charge still need to be resolved before EVs become the de facto mode of transportation for the masses.
With the LIB at the heart of the EV, researchers are being tasked to come up with innovative technologies and chemistries to increase energy density, speed up charging, reduce costs, while retaining safety.
Nevertheless, despite the impressive advances, many current LIBs still rely on conventional graphite anodes that are limited in their capacity and their ability to support fast charging.
Attempting to insert lithium ions rapidly into the graphite, which is necessary for high power or fast charging applications, causes the anode to break down, limiting its cycle-life and fast charging ability.
StoreDot’s groundbreaking patent for a composite anode material made of ionic-conducting electrically insulating material, increases the capacity of the battery while supporting significant improvements in fast charging through an innovative ‘core-shell’ design that allows for expansion and contraction of the anode during the charging/discharging phases of the battery cell.
At the heart of StoreDot's innovation, core-shell particles consist of a single core and a surrounding shell. The core is designed to receive and release lithium ions during the charging and discharging process, while the shell is configured to allow for expansion and contraction of the core during lithiation and de-lithiation. This is critical for fast charging.
To ensure efficient electron and ion conductivity within the core-shell, the cores of the particles are connected to the respective shells by electrically conductive material such as carbon fibers or carbon nanotubes, to form a network – where required, also interconnecting the cores of multiple core-shell particles – throughout the anode material.
Furthermore, the core-shell particles may also incorporate ionic conductive materials and mechanical elements to enhance ionic conductivity and mechanical stability during expansion and contraction typically encountered during fast charging. This combination of materials and design elements ensures the longevity and reliability of the composite anode material, even under extreme lithiation and de-lithiation.
StoreDot's composite anode material offers significant advantages for electric vehicles. The increased energy density and fast charging capabilities enable longer driving ranges and reduced charging times that help ease potential EV owners’ concerns. This breakthrough technology paves the way for accelerated widespread adoption of electric vehicles by eliminating range anxiety and providing a seamless fast charging experience without compromising the battery’s lifespan.
StoreDot's patent also has significant implications for lithium-ion battery manufacture. The composite anode material, using core-shell particles can be easily integrated into existing battery cell manufacturing processes, reducing costs and improving scalability.
Furthermore, the enhanced conductivity and mechanical stability of the composite anode material result in a more reliable and durable fast charging lithium-ion battery. This means longer-lasting batteries with improved cycle life contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy storage solution.
Thus, StoreDot's breakthrough patent for composite anodes made of ionic-conducting electrically insulating materials represents a significant advancement in fast charging lithium-ion battery technology. By utilizing innovative core-shell particles and conductive materials, StoreDot has unlocked further potential for fast charging EV lithium-ion batteries, seen as crucial to the acceleration of widespread EV adoption.