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Home > News > Industry News > Has Norway discovered the X fa.....

Has Norway discovered the X factor for silicon-Li-ion cells

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2018-07-16
Norwegian researchers have discovered a way to stabilise silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries, according to the country’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE).

Silicon anodes have the potential to far-exceed the lithium ion storage capacity of carbon anodes, if only they didn’t change size so much as they absorb the ions – as this physical swelling and shrinking quickly wrecks the structure of any Si-Li-ion battery.

Plenty of companies have claimed to have solutions for the swelling problem, however, none have made it into production – despite the increased capacity that would be bestowed on the cell.

According to IFE, the technology it has developed – details of which have yet to be revealed – can achieve three to five times the charge capacity of the anode compared with today’s “common graphite technology”, it said – the organisation is in currently patenting the technology.

“We have tested that it works on a lab scale with good results,” said project researcher Marte Skare. “Now that we have received support from the research council in the FORNY2020 program, we will test it further with international industry partners and see if it works in their industrial processes. The project, which will focus on bringing the new material to the market, we have called SiliconX.”

What is being revealed, is that its creation is the result of several years of research with nano-particles, including silicon, in IFE’s laboratories at Kjeller. “Within the nano-particles, there is a finely divided mixture of silicon and another material that we would like to call the matrix,” said SiliconX projec leader Asbjørn Ulvestad. “This matrix will help silicon to withstand the big volume change it goes through when it is discharged and discharged.”

This graph has been released (right), comparing the cycle life of:

pure anode silicon batteries (top black )

SiliconX battery (turquoise)

A commercial anode material (bottom black)

“With the developed method, you get increased stability in exchange for some of the silicon capacity. However, since this is so huge at first, it ends up with a material with 3x to 5x higher capacity than the graphite used in today’s batteries,” said IFE.