APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Lithium ion batteries
- Achieves high performance and reliability at a reduced cost
- Processes available for both anode and cathode fabrication
Berkeley Lab researcher Gao Liu has developed a new fabrication technique for lithium ion battery electrodes that lowers binder cost without sacrificing performance and reliability.
The innovative process evaporates a thin polymer coating on the active materials’ particles and mixes these coated particles with an inexpensive rubber binder. To improve conduction, carbon fibers can be added to this slurry, which is then coated on copper and dried to form either an anode (negative electrode) or cathode (positive electrode). The coated-particle laminate uses inexpensive binders, reducing cost while delivering the same or improved battery performance.
Binders are important materials essential for laminating active materials in lithium ion anodes and cathodes. Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is widely used as a binder, but the high performance attributes of PVDF-bound electrodes are offset by its relatively high cost and lower binding strength of the material. Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), on the other hand, has a low cost and higher binding strength, but electrodes made of SBR do not perform as well. The Berkeley Lab technology achieves the economy and strength of SBR but matches the performance of PVDF binder based electrodes.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. Additional lab testing ongoing.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-3052