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Safer Battery with Switchable Polymer Coating

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810-1077
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Safer Battery with Switchable Polymer Coating
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX10CD32P
Award Amount: $99,976.00


Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to utilize a switchable polymer (SWP) to prevent catastrophic failure due to internal shorting or overdischarge in lithium-ion batteries. The SWP, applied to both the surface of the cathode particles and the cathode current collector, can be reversibly "switched" from an insulator to a conductor upon oxidation permitting normal battery operation. In Phase I, PSI will demonstrate that upon a short or overdischarge the polymer reversibly switches to an insulator reducing the current flow to the cathode material protecting the system and preventing unsafe operation. This reduced current flow will be demonstrated to decrease the localized heat generation by more than two orders of magnitude. PSI will also demonstrate that insulation of the cathode material limits irreversible degradation of the discharge capacity upon overdischarge maintaining cell balance and improving cycle life. In the Phase II program, we will scale up the coating procedure to a production scale, in order to demonstrate the technology in a 5Ah battery. At the conclusion of Phase II, PSI will have demonstrated the technology in full battery systems and be prepared to partner with NASA's industrial partner SAFT America to have cells built for a mock application demonstration.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher M. Lang
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

B. David Green
President and CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810

EIN/Tax ID: 042517090
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No