Safer Battery with Switchable Polymer Coating

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CD32P
Agency Tracking Number: 095225
Amount: $99,976.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: X7.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center, Andover, MA, 01810-1077
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Lang
 Principal Investigator
 (978) 689-0003
 lang@psicorp.com
Business Contact
 B. David Green
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Email: green@psicorp.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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