ADA Technologies, Inc. has completed research that demonstrates the technical feasibility of developing advanced lithium-ion nano-batteries. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the $150,000 Phase I research focused on developing high-capacity / high-rate nano-structured electrodes that could be combined with environmentally benign electrolytes to significantly improve lithium-ion battery performance. The improvement in performance is due to the unique structures of nano-scale electrodes.
Lithium-ion batteries represent the current state-of-the-art technology for rechargeable batteries. However, performance (energy / power densities, safety, and cycle life) of currently available lithium-ion batteries is limited by electrode and electrolyte properties.
"The Phase I research was completely successful. Laboratory test batteries achieved excellent performance measures with the potential to achieve a two-fold increase in energy density and a ten-fold increase in power density compared to current state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology," said Wen Lu, Ph.D., project principal investigator and ADA Technologies senior research scientist.
Improvements in electrodes and electrolytes are needed to develop advanced lithium-ion batteries to satisfy increasing performance demands. Lithium-ion batteries are used in a wide range of applications, including consumer electronics (cell phones, laptops, pagers, camcorders), medical electronics (drug delivery units, portable defibrillators, neurological stimulators), transportation technology (electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids), and military and defense (communication devices, unmanned aerial vehicles, spacecraft probes, missile systems).
ADA has received nearly $1 million in grant money for advanced energy storage technology R&D, including the development of lithium-ion batteries and ultracapacitors.