Surface-coated Li-Ni-Mn-Co-O Lithium-ion Battery Cathode

Colorado State University Ventures, Inc.
posted on 11/10/2011

A new cathode material for lithium-ion batteries that can be integrated immediately into existing battery architectures. By replacing much of the cobalt found in conventional cathodes with a precise combination of nickel and manganese, battery performance is increased while simultaneously improving safety and toxicity characteristics. Ready for scale up.

Innovation Details

Detailed Description

Lithium-ion battery technology is currently the most promising energy storage medium for mobile electronics and electric vehicles. The most commonly used cathode material in these batteries is LiCoO2, which is effective but costly, somewhat toxic, and has lower than desired electrochemical capacity.

Researchers at Colorado State University have engineered an enhanced cathode material that substitutes the majority of the cobalt in LiCoO2 with a combination of manganese and nickel, which lowers the cost by using less expensive components and a simpler synthesis method while maintaining excellent capacity. In addition, the researchers have developed metal oxide coating techniques that further enhance the performance of these cathodes by decreasing Irreversible Capacity Loss (ICL) and increasing their charge capacity and safety characteristics.

Unlike most battery technologies emerging from universities, this invention may be immediately inserted into existing lithium-ion battery architectures. In laboratory conditions, batteries utilizing this new LiwNixMnyCozO2 cathode material have displayed extremely high capacities (248.2 mAh/g in the voltage range of 4.6-2.0 V) at a material cost of $1.49/Ah for the cathode, which is a significantly lower price than that for LiCoO2 due to the low cobalt content. Furthermore, these properties may be further optimized by fine-tuning of the exact cathode composition and use of dopants and surface coatings.

The LiwNixMnyCozO2 cathode material is clearly superior to conventional materials in the laboratory and is ready to be integrated into existing lithium-ion batteries and tested at scale. Contact us to learn more about commercial licensing opportunities.

Features and Benefits
• Precise composition of LiwNixMnyCozO2 cathode material with metal oxide surface coating for lithium-ion batteries.
• Can be integrated into conventional battery architectures based on LiCoO2 cathodes.
• Excellent charge capacity (248.2 mAh/g between 4.6-2.0 V), decreased ICL, and improved safety and toxicity.
• Decreased cobalt content and simpler synthesis lower materials costs while improving safety and performance.
• Advantages have been demonstrated in laboratory setting – ready for scale up.

File Number: 10-081 

Other Information: Inventor Information:
Venkatesan Manivannan
Madhu Chennabasappa
Josh Garrett

Patent Information:
US Patent Pending

Jeremy Nelson, Ph.D.
Director, Licensing & Business Development

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