Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nanoparticles Improve Lithium Ion Batteries

We wanted to expand on our press release this morning regarding the completion of our Phase I STTR project, because this is a very exciting development.

The materials used for lithium ion batteries are expensive.  Other, cheaper materials are available, but they are not typically used because they suffer from "capacity fade" -- that is, when you repeatedly cycle (i.e., drain and re-charge) them, they don't last very long, especially in warmer environments.

Comparing battery cells with our nanoparticles (coated)
and cells without (uncoated).  After just 30 cycles in
high temperatures, the uncoated cell capacities have
dropped significantly, while the coated cells still perform
close to where they started.
We worked with the University of Wisconsin to prove that adding certain nanoparticles in a certain way to these less expensive materials deters capacity fade.

This means the less expensive materials can be used -- and this can help tremendously with the cost issues that are preventing the use of lithium ion batteries in some major applications.

We've received a lot of interest in the technology -- from a Fortune 500 company to a small but well-funded start-up.  All of these companies are working in the battery or battery materials area and each of them plan to watch carefully as we bring the technology to full commercialization.  They could very well end up being the technology's first licensees.

We will soon be submitting a Phase II proposal to fund the commercialization effort.  We should have an answer on that proposal toward the end of the year. 

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