Argonne National Laboratory

Protective Coatings for Lithium Anodes

Technology available for licensing: Protective Coatings for Lithium Anodes

ANL-IN-16-168; US Patent Application No. 15/669,771

Lithium metal is an attractive anode material for rechargeable batteries in terms of its extremely high theoretical capacity (3860 mAh/g) and the lowest negative potential (-3.040 V, versus the standard hydrogen electrode). However, lithium dendrite formations during electrochemical cycling cause severe capacity fade and cell failure due to electrical shorting or electrolyte consumption. This tricky problem has prevented the incorporation of lithium anodes in commercial rechargeable cells due to potential safety issues and limited cycling life.

This patent technology uses a protective coating that can greatly suppress the dendrite formation of lithium anodes and improve the lithium cycling stability. The protective coating is synthesized using a chemical vapor process that yields uniform and conformal films.  The films are composed of a proprietary material that is mechanically robust to suppress lithium dendrites and has a high lithium ion conductivity and low electrical conductivity. The applications of rechargeable batteries with lithium anodes include portable devices and electric vehicles.

Availability: Technology available for license to organizations with commercial interest. Collaborative research is available under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

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