Capacity exceeds best commercial cells
Nexeon has produced Li-ion battery cells with the world’s highest capacity for their size. The cells, which are based on Nexeon’s silicon anode technology, have a capacity of 3.2Ah and were produced at the Company’s pilot plant in Oxfordshire. This is above the capacity of even the best commercially available Li-ion batteries, and opens up the possibility of longer operating times for consumer electronic products and greater range for electric vehicles. Cycle life performance of the Nexeon cells also exceeds that of the best commercial cell when tested under the same conditions.
This milestone is an important stage in the ongoing development of batteries based on silicon anodes, now thought to be the best route to next generation Li-ion performance. The performance of the latest cells is even more remarkable as they have not benefited from the optimisation which comes from the volume production of commercial cells.
Lithium-ion batteries dominate the rechargeable batteries market through their higher specifications, low self-discharge rate and absence of ‘memory effect’, but further progress is limited while carbon is used for the anode material. Silicon has been known to be a superior material, but has suffered from physical instability during charge cycles. By modifying the physical form (‘morphology’) of the silicon, Nexeon is unleashing its full potential as a battery anode.
Today’s commercial carbon-based Li-ion cells offer capacities of between 2.5Ah and 3.1Ah. The achievement of 3.2Ah with the latest ‘18650’ type cells was carried out at a realistic discharge rate (known as C/3), that is representative of real market applications. Nexeon has achieved even higher capacities with lower discharge rates. Nexeon’s technology road map will deliver 18650 cells with a capacity of 4Ah next year, based on optimisation of first generation silicon anode materials.
“These performance figures show how the use of silicon allows us to break through the capacity ‘ceiling’ for 18650 cells which is seen with carbon-based anodes“, said Dr Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. “It is a tremendous achievement, and I’m immensely proud of our technical team. To have already exceeded the performance of cells made in volume by the world’s best manufacturers gives us another huge confidence boost in the potential of our approach.”
In addition to powering today’s ubiquitous gadgets, high performance batteries are also increasingly important as energy storage systems for the various types of clean energy systems now being developed.
Nexeon has recently been recognised by nomination in The Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards, has gained a listing in the 2010 Global Cleantech 100 and was included in the European Cleantech Connect Top 15 list of ‘Ones to watch in Cleantech‘.