APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Batteries, particularly silicon anode batteries
- LEDs, sensors, and other electrochemical devices
- Highly soluble in NMP for simple processing
- Effective surface protection for silicon anodes in batteries
- The world’s energy storage demands are increasing with the push towards renewable energy sources. To meet this demand, new battery chemistries need to be developed to improve the storage capacity and energy density. Silicon-based anode technology presents much higher energy density than traditional graphite anodes, but these silicon anodes can exhibit high cycling instability due to large volume changes unless effectively processed.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed an ionically and electronically conductive polymer that can be processed for use as a binder for silicon anodes in lithium battery cells. It is useful for making double coated silicon-polymer based electrodes, and an at least about 1 Ah cell, and useful as a binder for silicon-based electrodes. The polymer is readily soluble in NMP, making it compatible with current electrode fabrication processes.
Because the polymer is mechanically flexible, it is able to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the anode through charge and discharge cycles and protect the surface from unwanted side reactions that would degrade the cell’s capacity. This polymer can also be used directly in other electrochemical devices because of its electronic conductivity. It could be applied in devices like capacitors, LEDs, and various types of sensors.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Validated in laboratory
- Gao Liu
- Tianyu Zhu
STATUS: Patent pending
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research