A longer, safer life for lithium-ion batteries is promised with a new conductive polymer coating for cathodes developed by researchers from U.S. Argonne National Laboratory and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The protective layer was formulated to minimize performance degradation and eliminate safety concerns.
Coatings currently applied for this purpose tend to hinder passage of lithium ions, resulting in reduced efficiency. This is attributed to film formation by excess oxygen generated at the cathode under high voltage conditions and subsequent reactions with the electrolyte.
The new poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polymer coating instead enhances battery performance by facilitating lithium ion and electron transport in and out of the cathode. Application by oxidative chemical vapor deposition technique layers every particle of a metal oxide cathode with the protective conductive skin on layered oxide cathode materials. The improved stability of the cathode-electrolyte interface supported an increase in battery operating voltage from 4.2 to 4.6 V during tests, a gain that could translate into lower battery costs, extended service life and greater driving range for electric vehicles.
insights.globalspec.com, 14 July 2020
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