SBIR Phase I: Improved Lithium-Ion Batteries via Solution-Deposited Nanolayers on the Surface of Formed Electrodes

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1843063
Agency Tracking Number: 1843063
Amount: $224,945.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MN
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-01-31
Small Business Information
1095 67th Street, Oakland, CA, 94608
DUNS: 094801772
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (415) 265-4887
Business Contact
Phone: (415) 265-4887
Research Institution
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to dramatically improve Lithium-Ion Battery (LIB) technology in order to advance renewable energy penetration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. LIBs are not only a major component of the current consumer electronics industry - they are also becoming a key linchpin in the development of clean energy applications such as electric vehicles and grid storage. Their limited cost-competitiveness relative to fossil fuels, finite energy density, and limited lifetime are all still road blocks against mainstream adoption of these emerging applications. These issues all point toward a need for significant technical advancements that cannot be satisfied by simple economies of scale alone. Coreshell?s innovation is to introduce a cheap and scalable electrode coating technology that protects batteries against cycling degradation. The technology has the potential to yield a marked improvement in battery cost and performance, as well as a reduction in manufacturing rates by replacing a slow electrochemical step that can take days with a fast coating step that can be completed within minutes. If fully actualized, Coreshell?s coatings have the potential to revolutionize the LIB industry and enable widespread commercialization of clean energy technologies. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Coreshell?s unique electrode coating technology. The state-of-the-art electrode surface protection in LIBs is formed electrochemically and is termed ?SEI? (Solid-Electrolyte-Interphase). SEI is slow and expensive to make, inherently unstable, and consumes lithium thereby reducing capacity. This proposal is based on a novel proprietary coating in place of SEI, using a roll-to-roll process that can be seamlessly integrated into existing LIB manufacturing lines. By depositing well-formed coatings on the surface of battery electrodes, Coreshell?s technology can protect against many of the degrading reactions that occur during LIB cycling. The proposed technology has the promise to deliver greater initial capacity, greater depth-of-charge over equivalent cycle-life, reduced manufacturing costs and, ultimately, the potential to reduce LIB cost per kWh by up to 25%. In Phase I, Coreshell will demonstrate part of this value through two main objectives. The first is to increase initial battery capacity by >5% and retain the total capacity to >90% of original after 200 cycles. The second is to show that batteries incorporating Coreshell?s coated electrodes can eschew SEI formation, which would demonstrate the feasibility of ~7% reduction in manufacturing costs. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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