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Technology Commercialization and Partnerships

Coating Active Materials for Applications in Electrochemical Devices (ANL-IN-09-043)

Unique carbon-coated cathodes that improve electrical conductivity

The Invention 

X-ray diffraction graph of coated (10%) and uncoated Li1.2Mn0.5Ni0.176Co0.1O2.

A process that includes suspending/dissolving an electro-active material and a carbon precursor in a solvent; and then depositing the carbon precursor on the electro-active material to form a carbon-coated electro-active material. 

The method avoids the high temperature, pressure and manufacturing extremes of conventional chemical vapor deposition and other pyrolysis methods of preparation. When carbon-coated metal oxides (for electro-active materials) are prepared, the metal oxide often reduces to the metal species. Argonneā€™s method can produce carbon-coated metal oxides without the problems associated with reductions. The carbon precursor can be graphene, graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes, their derivatives or a combination of any two or more such carbon precursors. 

Benefits 

  • Carbon-coated materials can be charged and discharged faster than non-coated materials. 
  • Using this method, the metal oxide will not reduce to the metal species when coated with carbon. 
  • Carbon-coated cathode materials have improved electronic conductivity. 
  • With its high capacity and high current rate, carbon-coated materials are ideal for use in lithium batteries for plug-in and electric vehicles. 

Applications and Industries 

Coatings for electrodes used in batteries for 

  • Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; 
  • Portable electronic devices; 
  • Medical devices; and 
  • Space, aeronautical, and defense-related devices. 

Developmental Stage 

Proof of concept