In-situ Cathode Formation for Thermal Batteries
Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
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AbstractThe goal of this research is to significantly increase the specific and volumetric energy densities of thermal batteries by combining the functions of the cathode and heat pellet. The proposed method of achieving this is to form the cathode active materialwithin the heat pellet by the pyrotechnic reaction between the metal powder and the alkali perchlorate. In order to accomplish this `in-situ cathode'; the active material formed will be a transition metal oxide instead of the typical metal disulfide. Ifsuccessful, there will be a weight and volume savings of approximately 25% by eliminating the need to fabricate and incorporate discrete cathode pellets in the battery. Several emerging military applications are signaling the need for thermal batteriesthat are capable of providing high power at only modest to very low energy. This edge-of-the-envelope set of requirements dictates the need for thin cell components that optimize high power performance while packaging only the limited cell capacityrequired to meet mission requirements. There is a potential opportunity that the pyrotechnic source of the thermal battery could be designed so that it performs a dual function of providing the necessary heat to activate the battery and at the same timegenerating the active cathode material.
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