Nexeon Limited, a spin-off from Imperial College London which is developing silicon-based anodes for Li-ion batteries, closed an additional £10 million (US$14 million) investment round. The company raised £4.25 million (US$6 million) in July 2007.
Silicon is conceptually an attractive anode material for lithium-ion batteries because of its high theoretical charge capacity (4,200 mAh g-1—more than 10 times that of graphite anodes and much larger than various nitride and oxide materials) and low discharge potential. However, silicon anodes are problematic because the material’s volume changes by up to 400% upon the insertion and extraction of lithium ions during charge/discharge cycles. This results in pulverization and capacity fading.
Nexeon was founded by Prof. Mino Green of Imperial College London, and started life within the Imperial Innovations incubator. This latest investment will enable Nexeon to continue its silicon-anode development program and build a pilot-scale manufacturing facility.
Participants in the latest round included Invesco Perpetual (£5 million); Imperial Innovations (£4.0 million); and PUK Ventures, the venture capital business of Partnerships UK plc (£1 million).