|Amprius’ plan, outlined at the DOE Merit Review in 2012, is to start with consumer electronics and move to vehicle and grid storage markets. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.|
Amprius Inc., a developer of lithium-ion batteries using silicon nanowire anodes (earlier post), has launched the first generation of its high-capacity and high-energy-density Li-ion batteries. The company has begun supplying smartphone and tablet OEMs with its first first two product families, based on an 1,850 mAh (580 Wh/L) battery and a 4,060 mAh (600 Wh/L) battery. Amprius has also signed contracts with its OEM customers to design batteries that meet custom specifications.
The company has also demonstrated greater than 650 and 700 Wh/L batteries with its second-generation and third-generation technology platforms. Amprius plans to begun pilot production of its second-generation batteries later this year.
Amprius' first-generation batteries are made with silicon anodes—not silicon nanowire anodes, which will appear in the subsequent generations.
Amprius’ technology was initially developed at Professor Yi Cui’s laboratory at Stanford University (earlier post); Prof. Cui is a founder of the company.
Although silicon has more than 10x the theoretical capacity of carbon (4,200 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 is excited to work closely with OEM manufacturers to make high energy battery technologies available to consumers. We will soon increase our manufacturing capacity to meet increasing customer demand for our high capacity and high energy density batteries.
We continue to focus on silicon anode-based technologies. Amprius is also collaborating with Professor Yi Cui’s lab at Stanford University and industrial partners worldwide to develop high energy density cathodes, advanced electrochemical systems, high performance separators, and innovative manufacturing processes.—Dr. Kang Sun, Amprius CEO
Amprius has an R&D lab in Sunnyvale, California and an R&D lab and a pilot production line for advanced battery development in Nanjing, China. Amprius is financed by leading investors including Trident Capital, VantagePoint Capital Partners, IPV Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Silicon Nanostructure-based Technology for Next Generation Energy Storage (Amprius, 2012 DOE Merit Review)