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Lionano in license agreement with Cornell for development and production of new hollow structured metal oxide anode material for LIBs

31 August 2015

Lionano Inc. announced an agreement with Cornell University’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) for the development and production of an innovative drop-in anode material for use in lithium-ion batteries.

The drop-in consists of a hollow structured metal oxide material that can substantially reduce the volumetric expansion of a conventional anode, according to the company. This material can exhibit a capacity of 900 mAh/g at 0.2C with more than 90% active material content. Lionano tested the material in a scaled-up batch of more than 50 kg of material, and found that it demonstrates superior stability over 2,000 cycles. The hollow structure, with nano- and microscale properties, facilitates electron transfer and enhances structural robustness.

In a paper published earlier this year in the journal ACS Nano, Cornell Professor Héctor Abruña—with whom Lionano has been collaborating—and co-authors wrote that:

Transition metal oxides (TMOs) have attracted great attention as anode materials to replace the currently used graphite, in order for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) to achieve higher energy and power densities. The attractive electrochemical performance of TMOs in LIBs is based on a conversion reaction mechanism, which is different from the conventional Li+ intercalation/deintercalation processes.

…To date, the search for suitable candidates as anode materials in LIBs to replace graphite requires a strategic material structure design, which still relies on finding an appropriate morphology that can fulfill the following criteria: (a) fast Li+ transport; (b) sufficient space for potential volume expansion; (c) mechanical robustness; and (d) high surface-to-volume ratio. Hollow-structured nanomaterials have gained much attention in many aspects of electrochemistry such as fuel cells, supercapacitors, and LIBs. The enhanced electrochemical performance of hollow-structured nanomaterials is attributed at least in part to their high surface area and surface to volume ratio. It has been reported that the voids inside hollow nanoparticles can not only provide more space to accommodate volume changes during charge/discharge but also shorten the Li+ diffusion distance, which leads to smaller overpotentials and faster reaction kinetics at the electrode surface.

—Wang et al.

(The conversion reaction mechanism, as described in a 2000 paper in Nature by J-M Tarascon and colleagues at Université de Picardie Jules Verne in France, involves the formation and decomposition of Li2O, accompanying the reduction and oxidation of metal nanoparticles (in the range 1–5 nanometers) respectively. This is in contrast to the classical Li insertion/de-insertion or Li-alloying processes in intercalation batteries.)

The new material under license is similar to another anode material earlier announced by Lionano, also under license from Cornell, focusing on Li-S batteries. (Earlier post.)

Lionano’s superior cathode and anode materials are an optimized replacement to existing batteries. And we’re going beyond the lab-bench, with a scalable means of production. This license agreement facilitates both the operational and R&D goals we’ve set for the company.

—Dr. Yingchao Yu, CEO of Lionano

Lionano Inc. is a material manufacturing company commercializing advanced drop-in enhancements for lithium-ion batteries. The company maintains an R&D lab in Ithaca, New York. Lionano’s materials have been shown to increase the energy density, rate capability, and cycle life of Li-ion batteries, especially in the application of electric vehicles.

The Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) manages technology for Cornell’s Ithaca campus, Weill Cornell Medical Colleges, Cornell Tech and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.


  • Deli Wang, Yingchao Yu, Huan He, Jie Wang, Weidong Zhou, and Hector D. Abruña (2015) “Template-Free Synthesis of Hollow-Structured Co3O4 Nanoparticles as High-Performance Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries” ACS Nano 9 (2), 1775-1781 doi: 10.1021/nn506624g

  • Poizot, P.; Laruelle, S.; Grugeon, S.; Dupont, L.; Tarascon, J. M. (2000) Nano-sized transition-metaloxides as negative-electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Nature 407, 496–499 doi: 10.1038/35035045

August 31, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (1)


One more of the 1001 ways to make better batteries. When will it be mass produced?

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