The Characterization and Analysis of Battery Materials

Overview

NovoCarbon and strategic partner Chasm Advanced Materials, Inc. are setting up a Battery Materials Lab at Chasm’s facility in Canton, Massachusetts. In the present phase, the Lab offers the capabilities for carrying out analysis and characterization of materials: “HP2” analysis, particle size distribution analysis, surface area analysis, and porosity analysis. As time progresses, sophisticated capabilities will be continuously added to support increased quality control and product development activities.

Other partnerships offer access to additional capabilities, such as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), visual analysis (TEM, SEM, and AFM), particle shape analysis, XRG, density analysis, and EDAX.

The development of an extensive and powerful set of analytical capabilities in-house will satisfy persistent quality control demands and speed up product development timelines.

Application for certification of the Battery Materials Lab by the State of Massachusetts will be forwarded instantly once the lab is set up. Certification of the facilities will guarantee that the Lab comes under independent regulatory oversight and will also enable the Lab to offer fee-based services to external organizations. It is expected that increasing growth in battery and energy storage applications will drive a considerable demand for the materials analysis, consulting, and product development services that will be offered through the Lab.

Materials Characterization and Analysis Capabilities

The Battery Materials Lab is being set up with a phased implementation. Following are the capabilities being facilitated in the first phase:

  • BET analysis for measuring surface area and pore size and distribution analysis
  • “HP2”, a proprietary analysis technique employed to ascertain hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties
  • Particle size distribution analysis
  • Atomic force microscopy for visual analysis

BET Analysis

Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory aims to explain the physical adsorption of gas molecules on a solid surface and serves as the basis for an important analysis technique for the measurement of the specific surface area of materials.

BET analysis report for the MG-1599 product

BET analysis report for the MG-1599 product

Surface area is an important deciding factor for the performance of battery anode materials since it is on that surface that the useful chemical reactions produced by a battery take place. Therefore, a higher surface area for a given amount of material is a beneficial property for battery materials.

The surface area and porosity of graphite are directly correlated. If the micropores are higher in number, the surface area is larger since the pores create more surface area by definition. This is why the pore size distribution and the surface area are measured to confirm the appropriateness of the material for applications that mandate robust electrochemical performance.

“HP2” - A Proprietary Method for Porosity and Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic Analysis

NovoCarbon’s HP2 analysis involves using a proprietary, non-destructive technique, devised by Dr. Gershon Borovsky, which offers data related to structural properties of porous material and also the proportion of hydrophilic and hydrophobic material within a sample. Gaining insights into and possessing the potential to measure these properties allows one to ensure that the suitable material is provided for applications that are sensitive to them.

Particle Size Distribution Analysis

Particle size analysis, particle size measurement, or simply particle sizing is the collective name of the technical procedures, or laboratory techniques which determines the size range, and/or the average, or mean size of the particles in a powder or liquid sample.

The particle size measurement is typically achieved by means of devices called Particle Size Analyzers (PSA) which are based on different technologies, such as high definition image processing, analysis of Brownian motion, gravitational settling of the particle and light scattering (Rayleigh and Mie scattering) of the particles.

Particle size distribution analysis report for the SPG-20U Spheronized Graphite product

The focus of NovoCarbon is to develop and employ practices to precisely and consistently produce products according to customer specifications. Particle size distribution analysis is highly crucial in gaining insights into the properties of a material, or guaranteeing that products are being produced with the specified size properties.

Visual Analysis - Atomic Force Microscopy

Stock image of cobalt nanoparticles

Stock image of cobalt nanoparticles

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning force Microscopy (SFM) is a very-high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by NovoCarbon, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit NovoCarbon, Inc.

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