High-rate Aluminum Anode for Lithium-ion Battery with Long Cycle Life and Ultrahigh Capacity

Technology #17380

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Inventors
Professor Ju Li
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (li.mit.edu)
Junjie Niu
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Sa Li
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Kang Pyo So
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Chao Wang
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Yu Cheng Zhao
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University
Chang An Wang
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Aluminum based electroactive materials

US Patent Pending 2016-0079592A1

Aluminum based electroactive materials

PCT Patent Application WO 2016-044595
Publications
High-rate aluminium yolk-shell nanoparticle anode for Li-ion battery with long cycle life and ultrahigh capacity
Nature Communications, August 5, 2015;6:7872 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8872 |

Applications

High-capacity anode materials have the ability to provide Lithium-ion batteries with higher capacities and longer life cycles. Major Lithium-ion battery manufacturers, as well as companies selling consumer electronics and hybrid electric vehicles, would benefit from this technology. 

Problem Addressed

Alloy-type anodes, such as silicon and tin, are gaining popularity in rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, but their rate capabilities have so far been poorer than graphite and many oxide electrodes. Theoretically, Aluminum should be an attractive anode material for rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries due to its low cost, high capacity, low potential plateau, and high electrical conductivity; however, the practical performance falls short of the theoretical promise. This invention improves current technology by creating an Aluminum-based core surrounded by a tunable interspace to achieve 10C charge/discharge rate with reversible capacity exceeding 650 mAh/g even after 500 cycles. 

Technology

The technology makes use of a yolk-shell nanocomposite of aluminum core and a TiOshell, with a tunable interspace, to achieve a longer lasting and ultrahigh capacity Lithium-ion battery. The yolk-shell nanocomposite particles feature a void between the shell and the core, which allows for the expansion and shrinkage of the core during the charging and discharging phases. An inert TiO2 shell conducts both Li+ and electrons and even if the yolk pulverizes, all of the active content will still remain confined in the closed shell and will not lose electrical contact. The manufacturing process is a one-pot synthesis method that gives specific capacities at an industrial scale. 

Advantages

  • Simple
  • Industrially scalable
  • Cost-effective
  • Only uses Earth-abundant elements