Prieto Battery receives investment from Stanley Ventures to pursue commercialization of 3D Li-ion battery
Prieto Battery, a company commercializing a 3D Lithium-ion battery technology (earlier post), announced a strategic investment from Stanley Ventures, the newly-formed venture arm of Stanley Black & Decker, a world-leading provider of tools and storage, commercial electronic security and engineered fastening systems.
Prieto Battery Inc. was founded in June 2009 to accelerate the shift of Prieto’s innovations from the research laboratory to the commercial marketplace. The company’s mission is to commercialize a patented 3D lithium-ion battery technology that delivers transformational performance at a competitive cost using non-toxic materials with the ability to customize shapes.
The Prieto battery is designed around a porous copper structure (copper foam), conformally coated by an ultra-thin polymer electrolyte and then surrounded by a cathode matrix. The result is a three-dimensionally structured lithium-ion battery composed of interpenetrating electrodes with extremely short Li+ diffusion distances and a power density that is orders of magnitude greater than comparable two-dimensional architectures in use today.
The use of copper antimonide (Cu2Sb) electrodeposited onto copper foam lends an unprecedented degree of stability to the anode and has already demonstrated excellent capacity over extensive cycling. Such materials and the underlying technologies lend themselves to low cost manufacturing and production scale-up.
At the core of this product is a patent-pending technology for the fabrication of the Cu2Sb copper foam substrate. Using a novel electrodeposition method, Cu2Sb may be directly deposited without the costly requirement of further annealing or other post-treatments. This technique ensures continuous electrical contact throughout the 3D anode.
The fabrication of the electrolyte layer is accomplished through an electrochemical polymerization method designed to uniformly encapsulate the entire conductive surface of the anode. The electrolyte is conformal and very thin to allow for the subsequent interpenetration into the structure by the cathode material. This layer is pin-hole free, which is critical for the overall performance of the battery. The strict demands on the electrolyte form the basis for additional intellectual property protection.
Due to an increase in surface area of approximately 60X, Prieto expects its foam battery is expected to have power densities reaching 14,000 W/L while maintaining energy densities of 650 Wh/L. The foam battery will be customizable, capable of being optimized for either power density or energy density.
Alongside the technology, Prieto has also patented a unique electroplating manufacturing process for its battery that uses non-toxic materials and will be price competitive.
This investment from Stanley Black & Decker is an important step toward bringing Prieto’s innovative battery technology to market. Securing strategic partnerships has been a focus for us, both as a way to capitalize our company and as a way to define the markets where our battery technology can demonstrate a competitive advantage.—Dr. Amy Prieto, CEO, CSO and Co-Founder of Prieto Battery