Available Technology

Clean Anodic Lithium Films for Longer Life, Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries 2015-139

Researchers led by Berkeley Lab’s Nitash Balsara have developed an electrolytic refining technology by which polymer electrolytes are used to prepare clean anodic lithium films for use in safe, stable lithium ion batteries with high energy densities and good cycle life. Replacing the conventional graphite anode in rechargeable batteries with lithium metal results in a significant increase in energy density, making lithium anodes the likely choice for next generation battery chemistries. However, electronically conductive structures growing from lithium anodes puncture the electrolyte, causing battery failure by short circuit. Use of polymer electrolytes yield safer lithium ion batteries, although structure growth causes short circuits in these configurations as well. While studying the influence of the polymer electrolyte modulus on the growth of damaging structures, the Berkeley Lab researchers discovered a technology by which polymer electrolytes can be used to deposit lithium films lacking the faceted impurities on which damaging structures were seen to grow. Application of this technology can prepare anodes for use in next generation batteries that are safer and have longer cycle lives.
Enables improved cycle life by eliminating structures that cause short circuits - Overcomes key shortcoming of replacing graphite anodes with lithium metal in rechargeable lithium ion batteries
Patent Status: 
Published U. S. Patent application 15/294,703 (Publication #US20170110714). Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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