High-Performance Structured Battery Electrodes
Novel co-extrusion printing technique significantly improves battery performance
PARC offers a proven co-extrusion printing technique that can enhance both the energy and power densities of batteries. A cost-effective way to manufacture structured electrodes, this technique can be applied to both cathodes and anodes for most battery chemistries.
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One of the challenges in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the availability of cost-effective and portable energy storage. For example, the development of more efficient batteries at low cost is crucial for the growth of the electric vehicle market. However, given the limited space available within a battery cell, performance is typically optimized for either power or energy density. With typical monolithic battery electrodes, increased power requires greater conductivity, thereby resulting in less available volume for energy storage.
By structuring an electrode with conductive regions that are interleaved with storage regions, ion flow paths can be shortened without compromising capacity. PARC’s innovative CoEx technique can fabricate such structures at high speed. The relative dimensions can be changed to achieve optimal performance in terms of both power and energy, customizing the benefits for batteries based on their specific application.
- Up to 30% increase in energy density
- Up to 30% improvement in power density
- Up to 30% reduction in cost ($/kWh)
- Transferrable to mass manufacturing
- Scalable to manufacture higher capacity batteries
- Applicable to most mature battery chemistries
PARC has developed CoEx, an innovative co-extrusion printing technique where dissimilar materials can be deposited side by side at high speed. This technique can directly deposit an interdigitated structure as small as 5μm in width with high aspect ratios. By changing the print head geometry, the relative thickness, width, and length of the deposited structure can easily be modified.
CoEx can be applied to battery chemistries where electrodes are coated on metal foils from a slurry, and its process speed, coating width, and reliability are equivalent to those of conventional battery coating equipment.
PARC originally developed this technique to print metal gridlines with high aspect ratios on solar cells, and PARC has now transferred the technology for solar cell metallization to pilot production with a leading PV manufacturer.
PARC fabricated LiCoO2 half cells using CoEx and measured improved energy and power as shown below. Performance modeling is also being conducted with different battery chemistries, including alkaline, LixMn2O4, LiCoO2, Zn-air, and Ag-Zn. For example, the modeling of a CoEx structured cathode in a Li-ion battery resulted in a 10-20% improvement in energy density at the same power output. Applying the technique to anodes, additional improvements can be expected.
Apply CoEx to your batteries
PARC can help you incorporate CoEx structured electrodes into your batteries to improve performance dramatically without changing the fundamental chemistry. Contact PARC Business Development to learn more.