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Hollow Carbon Nanosphere Composite Based Secondary Cell Electrodes

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Researchers
Michael Wagner, Professor
External Link (home.gwu.edu)
Nathan Banek, PhD candidate
Kevin Hays, PhD candidate
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Jerry Comanescu
Licensing Associate jcomanescu@gwu.edu (202) 994-8975
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Provisional Patent Application Filed

Building on prior research, researchers at The George Washington University have overcome the lower energy capacity, charge/discharge rate and low temperature performance of lithium ion battery materials.  GW researchers have developed a Li-ion battery anode and a cathode composite material, which can be used in electronic batteries, and therefore, in most consumer electronics. This technology solves an important problem with most popular batteries: graphite is the most popular anode in consumer electronics; however, it has poor capacity to store energy.

The composite material developed by GW researchers brings a solution to the charging rates problem. Our researchers developed a technology based on HCNS (hollow carbon nanospheres), which have the ability to charge at much higher rates and greatly exceed the energy-storage capacity of graphite when used to support Li-alloying or Li-compound forming materials. 

Graphitic hollow carbon nanospheres contain void spaces to alleviate local expansion of lithium alloying or compound formation, allowing for a higher degree of charge/discharge reversibility (i.e. long battery life). 

The uniqueness comes in the combination of the HCNS (based on our previous patent US 8,262,942) with the lithium alloying metals and alloys.  This combination stands out because it achieves hundreds of charge/discharge cycles with little charge capacity loss. The new material achieves high Coulombic efficiency throughout hundreds and hundreds of cycles (low Coulombic efficiency kills batteries in real world applications due to the limited electrolyte and cathode supply in real cells). In addition, these materials are developed with inexpensive, readily available materials and electrolytes like propylene carbonate, and work at very low temperatures.

This technology is a powerful innovation in consumer electronics with an enormous commercial potential in a growing number of mobile, computing and electronic environments in general.

Applications:

·  Batteries that would charge at much higher rates than current technologies

·  Composite material for batteries with higher energy storage capacity

Advantages:

·  HCNS has the ability to charge at much higher rates than the most popular technology currently used in consumer electronics (graphite)

·  This technology greatly exceed the energy storage capacity of graphite

·  It has a higher degree of charge/discharge reversibility (i.e. long battery life) 

·  It achieves 100's of charge/discharge cycles with little charge capacity loss

Sixty Percent Higher Charge Capacity than Graphite at 500 Cycles