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Amprius raises $25M to support commercialization of Li-ion batteries with silicon nanowire anodes

Amprius has raised $25 million to commercialize next-generation lithium ion batteries leveraging Amprius’ proprietary silicon-based anode technology. (Earlier post.) Major new investors include IPV Capital (Shanghai, China), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (Menlo Park, CA), and Qian Neng Fund (Wuxi, China). Also participating in this round are previous investors Trident Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Dr. Eric Schmidt, and Stanford University.

Amprius’ technology was initially developed at Professor Yi Cui’s laboratory at Stanford University; Cui is a founder of the company. (Earlier post.) Amprius’ first generation of silicon nanowire product can enable a battery with a 4x smaller anode that balances with a 40% larger cathode, resulting in a practically usable energy density increase of 40% compared to today’s best lithium-ion batteries, the company says. Amprius says that there is clear potential to reach increases of up to 200% or more in the future.

Although silicon has more than 10x the theoretical capacity of carbon (4200 mAh/g compared to 370 mAh/g), lithium ion insertion causes silicon to swell up to 400% when charged. This swelling causes bulk silicon structures to fracture, diminishing battery life after just a few cycles. Structured as nanowires, however, silicon is able to swell without breaking.

In 2009, Amprius received $3 million from NIST to support the development of a unique, high-throughput, continuous manufacturing process for producing the novel, nanostructured silicon-based anode material for lithium batteries.

Amprius says that its technology recently achieved key validation milestones for consumer electronics applications such as smartphones and continues to advance toward requirements necessary for electric drive vehicle applications.

Our recent fundraising will enable us to deploy our first commercial product, validate our manufacturing processes, and launch a global presence. We are delighted to have the support of new investors and the continued support of current investors as we embark on the next phase of our business.

—Dr. Kang Sun, CEO of Amprius



A promising technology for future higher energy density PHEV/BEV batteries. Hope that they will solve mass production problems by 2015 and that Kwh/price will be competitive.


This promising battery technology was announced in 2007 and likely discovered long before.

Five year periods to modify existing Li-ion battery production seems slow.

Russians went from Sputnik to Gagarin in less time.



Why if they solve it by 2016 or 2018 would it change the future of EV ? honestly it doesn't matter even if they come in 2025 the market of EV will only be 3% at the time so there will be plenty of room for their product if it ever works. The problem with you simplistic way of thinking is that you assume that battery technology can progress with a Moore law like micro processor, the Moore law only works in micro electronics where progress is only a matter a reducing size of the elementary device so squeeze more in a given surface area. Batteries have nothing to do with that, progresses in batteries technologies have always been slow and always will be the reason being that progress rely on progress in material which are inherently slow. For every technology the basic problem is if you have the right material or not, because it is the basic material that determine the potential of the technology. Nothing is slower than designing and qualifying new material. 2000 years to go from bronze age to iron age another 3000 years to introduce plastics and composites. Ceramics, despite their huge potential are confined in niche applications because cost and brittle problem haven't been solved.


Kelly, Gagarin didn't care if there was a 50/50 chance he'd die. You can't find an American company who would take a 0.05% that they'd be sued for a battery fire LOL

If the Russians had out litagious society, they'd still be building their first rockets.


Treehugger, "..even if they come in 2025 the market of EV will only be 3% at the time.." Nonsense..

During the past 12 months alone, average US gasoline prices have increased by over 25%. At that minimal rate of increase, US gas will be over $6 per gallon long before 2015 and then easily expect over 10% of new cars to be EVs.

"The problem with you simplistic way of thinking..Nothing is slower than designing and qualifying new material. 2000 years to go from bronze age to iron age.."

Excellent insight, yet how much did human knowledge increase during those 2000 years - 2 times, 4X, maybe eight times?

Knowledge doubles every 2 years now, similar to Moore's Law. What tools design, simulate, and test new materials - hint, it's full of digital Moore's Law computer chips.

DaveD, "If the Russians had out litagious society, they'd still be building their first rockets."

The US IS a litigious society, yet beat the Russians to/on/from the moon during the decade LOL.


You're right, we did. But you gotta admit, we were not nearly as litigious as we've become in the last few decades. It's gotten to the point that you can't do anything without spending half your energy making sure you won't be sued for trying to help someone or sell even the simplest project.


DaveD, needing years of unaffordable US lawyers to defend against years of unaffordable US lawyers does seem more of a 'shakedown' than justice, the right to a speedy trial, being secure in one's person, houses, papers, and effects, etc.

What's particularly disturbing is that any literate non-fascist child understands that the 'Patriot Act' is unconstitutional in word and spirit, yet America's 'great' legal minds remain baffled.



Knowledge is not technology, technology needs knowledge but don't necessarily bring the solution. Again look at my example on ceramics, we understand what a perfect ceramic would be : tough but not brittle, and we understand how the ceramic should be for this to happen, simply because mother nature does it very well : nacre is an example of a ceramic that is tough but not brittle and we know why : because the ceramic also incorporate a protein that modify its properties , but so far we are incapable of replicating it. There is tons of examples like this.

Few people here realize the way new material are developed and improved. Extremely few material will make it through so you have to test many of it and it will takes time ...

in battery you have to find new material for the Anode, for the cathode but also for the electrolyte for the dream of electric car will happen...

Asides I don't think that 6$ a Gallon will translate in necessarily more EV on the road, all these projection assume that ICE cars will not improve,wrong! Small ICE powered cars with 50MPG will be on the road soon, making EVs with 80Miles range no so attractive for quite some time after all, especially for 30K$..


"in battery you have to find new material for the Anode, for the cathode but also for the electrolyte for the dream of electric car will happen..."

WOW, improving a three element product already in production for 20 years(Lead-Acid over 150 years).

Do you understand the Intel I7 transistor count is 731 Million?

In such context, battery improvement pace really isn't 'slow' - it's pathetic.


Come on you guys. Other developed forward going countries exist and they do not have the political connivance and the aggressive lawyers and greedy speculators with as much power as in USA.

China and India (and other countries) are progressing 3 and 4 times faster than us and they may not try so hard to block lower cost e-vehicle development.

The worldwide economic picture is changing fast and we may not like what is coming. Our acquired values may not be what others will want.



When Tesla went to market in 2008 with the Roadster, the best batteries they could put in the field were about 110Wh/kg. They are using cell from Panasonic with 266Wh/kg for a 2012 launch of the Model S.

That is one hell of a jump in 4 years and nowhere near the slow pace of the last 150 years before that.

There was not the same incentive or the same money being thrown at the problem before and orders of magnitude less smart people trying to solve this problem.

This is one area where you can't predict it based on historical trends. No, it's not Moore's law, but is sure as hell isn't 150 years of futility either.

In fact, it's starting to look like it's about half the progress you'd expect from Moore's Law which isn't too shabby.


It makes sense to try several path, since no one can see the future. To say it will be all EVs in 10 years, so forget everything else is risky. Open Fuel Standard, synthetic fuels, hybrids, will all be part of the solution to imported oil increases.

Sustainability is one of the words on the top of this web page. Does that mean forever into infinity or a bit more sustainable than what we have now? Don't let the perfect inhibit the possible. Let's work with the best methods we have instead of being so sure WE are the smartest people in the room. We will get much farther much faster with open minds.

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