UK-based Nexeon, a company engineering silicon materials for next generation lithium-ion batteries, has acquired three important sets of patents relating to the use of silicon in lithium ion battery anodes. The granted patents have global coverage and were previously owned by Litarion GmbH, and were acquired following that company’s insolvency.
The patents, numbering 24 in all, concern the manufacture and use of nanoscale silicon particles, alone or combined with graphite, and also cover methods of coating carbon particles with silicon using vapour deposition.
This move increases the strength of the intellectual property (IP) the company holds in the field of silicon for use in battery anodes.
Nexeon has identified a class of material that the company believes will be one of the “best-in-class” in terms of energy density while maintaining physical anode dimensions for long cycle life.
Nexeon’s lithium-ion battery anode technology uses silicon in several forms either to enhance or replace the traditional graphite anode. The company currently is developing two types of silicon material solution: NSP-1 and NSP-2.
NSP-1 is a silicon-based composite powder designed for use in hybrid or low-loading anode electrodes (recommended use up to 10wt.% loading). It can be used to enhance existing graphite anode electrode active materials and is designed to provide improved cell capacity. Typical initial anode capacity is 400 – 450mAh/g.
NSP-2 is a silicon-based material designed for use in high loading anode electrode formulations (up to 80 wt.%); it delivers a significant increase in anode energy capacity and capacity density. NSP-2 mitigates expansion through the use of engineered porosity at the particle level in combination with optimized anode design.
Nexeon’s silicon materials can be used in combination with conventional polymer binders and current collectors as part of the standard battery manufacturing process.