Real-Time In-Situ Metrology for Lithium-Ion Battery R&amp;D and Manufacturing
Small Business Information
46665 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA, 94538-6410
AbstractThe development of cost effective lithium-ion batteries is the cornerstone for meeting the goals of vehicle electrification. Both researchers and manufacturers of Li-ion batteries need a rapid and simple- to-use powerful technology that can enable nanometer-scale depth resolution chemical analysis in real time during the electrochemical cycling of the batteries. Currently available analytical techniques are extremely expensive, time consuming, labor-intense, involving very large equipment, e.g., synchrotron radiation or ultra high vacuum. We successfully demonstrated a new optical sensor technology in the Phase I SBIR for direct, real-time measurements of the chemical composition of battery materials and electrode/electrolyte interfaces, with depth resolution down to the nanometer scale. The technology yields real-time chemical information on lithium-ion batteries that was unattainable by other analytical techniques. The basis of the new technology is Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS); the same technology that NASA landed on Mars on the Curiosity Rover. Our Phase II research will provide optimization of the technology for rapid highly spatially resolved, sensitive 2D and 3D measurements of Li-ion cell chemistry. The advances will be integrated designed and fabricated into a prototype instrument for battery materials research and manufacture of large-capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicle applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: High-volume manufacturing of advanced batteries for HEV, PHEV, and EV demands new real-time metrology and analytical tools, for rapid characterization of battery manufacturing materials and process control. For battery performance, reliability and safety, it is important to verify that nano- and micro-structures meet the chemical/physical design specifications. The demand for Li-ion batteries has the potential to spread into areas other than electric vehicles. For example, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power generation require electrochemical storage to compensate the time lag between production and consumption. Our analytical technology and commercial instrument address these markets, and will be useful in other fields where spatial mapping is necessary, including rapid in situ characterization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.
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