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Cathodes

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  • Unique carbon-coated cathodes that improve electrical conductivity
    Intellectual Property Available to License
    US Patent 9,431,649
    • Coating Active Materials for Applications in Electrochemical Devices (ANL-IN-09-043)

    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. Argonne’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 

  • A cathode coating that leads to faster battery charging and discharging without a loss in performance
    Intellectual Property Available to License
    US Patent 9,559,354 B2
    • Cathode Coating (ANL-IN-09-061)

    The Invention 

    Charge and discharge capacity of pristine, 250ºC dry air and 250ºC He/5%H2 heated Li1.12Mn0.55Ni0.145Co0.1O2 showing better perf

    Two processes are provided. In the first process, an electro-active material is heated and exposed to a reducing gas to form a surface-treatment layer on the electro-active material. The reducing gas comprises hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, an alkane, an alkyne, or an alkene. The process also includes introducing an inert gas with the reducing gas. The surface-treated, electro-active material may be used in a variety of applications such as in a rechargeable lithium battery. 

    The second process includes mixing an electro-active material and a reducing agent to form a surface treatment layer on the electro-active material; and then removing the reducing agent. Removal includes vacuuming, filtering, or heating. The reducing agent is hydrazine, NaH, NaBH4, LiH, LiAlH4, CaH2, oxalic acid, formic acid, diisobutylaluminium hydride, zinc amalgam, diborane, a sulfites, dithiothreitol, or Sn/HCl, Fe/HCl. The partially reduced electro-active material can be used in a variety of applications such as a rechargeable lithium battery, a primary lithium battery, or a secondary lithium battery. 

    Benefits 

    Increased electrical conductivity of cathode materials, which improves the rate capability of the material. By this process the battery can be charged or discharged faster without losing its electrochemical performance. 

    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 

  • Christopher Johnson

    Dr. Johnson has over 25 years experience in the field of energy storage. He is a technical expert in lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries materials and their research and development.