Nanomaterials for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Batteries are electrochemical energy-storage systems. Like fuel cells, they utilize the separation of electronic and ionic species at electrode/electrolyte interfaces on a nanometer scale. Grid energy-storage and electrical-vehicle (EV) applications necessitate the use of Nanomaterials for Lithium-Ion Batteries with excellent storage characteristics, cycle stability and high charging rate. Consequently, intensive world-wide efforts are emerging.
Improving the Performance
The performance of lithium-ion batteries is determined by the individual constituents and their complex interactions. Improved performance can be achieved by entirely new lithium compounds capable of higher lithium insertion, e.g., by multi-electron redox couples or lithium alloys. Furthermore, the shorter diffusion pathways in nanoparticulate materials allow for a faster lithium insertion/extrusion. Nanoparticulates may also help to overcome the problem of volume changes during battery charging/discharging by, e.g., embedding nanoparticles into appropriate matrices.
However, the processing of such nanomaterials poses substantial challenges, which can be addressed, e.g., by the development of colloid based inks. Printable batteries are desirable to produce ultra-thin and flexible designs, and electrodes can be structured in a rapid and simple way by printing. This approach would also facilitate multilayer-electrodes with structure and/or composition gradients, providing potential for hybrid battery systems.
Battery Research @ CFN
Project F3 was driven by the demand for improved lithium-ion batteries. It focused on nanosized novel electrode materials and on concepts for the production of ultra-thin lithium-ion batteries on flexible substrates.
Meanwhile, project F3 has been phased out and integrated into a large-scale battery research program at KIT.