Modeling Co-extruded Cathodes for High Energy Lithium-Ion Batteries




Corie Cobb

Modeling Co-extruded Cathodes for High Energy Lithium-Ion Batteries

Utilizing an existing macro-homogeneous porous electrode model developed by John Newman, this talk presents the potential energy density gains that can be realized in lithium-ion battery electrodes fabricated with co-extrusion (CoEx) technology. CoEx uses carefully engineered fluidic channels to cause multiple streams of dissimilar fluids to impart shape to one another. The result is a high-speed, continuous deposition process that can create fine linear structures much smaller than the smallest physical feature within the printhead. By eliminating the small channels necessary for conventional extrusion and injection processes, CoEx is able to deposit highly loaded and viscous pastes at high line speeds under reasonable operating pressures. The CoEx process is capable of direct deposition of features as small as 10 m with aspect ratios of 5 or greater, and print speeds > 80 ft/min. We conduct an analysis on two-dimensional cathode cross-sections in COMSOL and present the electrochemical performance results, including calculated volumetric energy capacity for Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) co-extruded cathodes, in the presence of a lithium metal anode, polymer separator and ethylene carbonatediethyl carbonate (EC:DEC) liquid electrolyte. The impact of structured electrodes on cell performance is investigated by varying the physical distribution of a fixed amount of cathode mass over a space of dimensions which can be fabricated by CoEx. By systematically varying the thickness and aspect ratio of the electrode structures, we present an optimal subset of geometries and design rules for co-extruded geometries. Modeling results demonstrate that NMC CoEx cathodes, on the order of 125-200 m thick, can garner an improvement in material utilization and in turn capacity through the addition of fine width electrolyte channels or highly conductive electrode regions. We also present initial experimental results on CoEx NMC cathode structures.

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