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Tesla Has Filed a Patent Application For 'Active Material For Electrode And Method Of Manufacturing Therefore'

by Eva Fox May 02, 2020

Tesla Has Filed a Patent Application For 'Active Material For Electrode And Method Of Manufacturing Therefore'

Tesla has patented a new active material for an electrode and its methods of manufacture are provided, which is likely to be used in its new battery cell, which will be more durable and cheaper.

The patent application 'Active material for electrode and method of manufacturing therefore' was filed October 23, 2019 and published April 30, 2020.

Inventors:
  • GOWDA, Sanketh R.; US
  • MEHTA, Vineet Haresh; US

The present disclosure relates to electrodes for use in batteries, an active material for producing the electrodes, and the manufacture of the active material.

Batteries with lithium-based chemistries are used in various applications. Such batteries often include a lithium-based cathode. Batteries with conventional lithium-based cathodes may have low capacity and low efficiency.

The present disclosure describes an active material for an electrode, in particular one that may be used as a prelithiation source. The active material includes a lithium-nickel-copper complex oxide represented by the formula LLNixCui-xCh, wherein x is greater than 0 and less than 1.

In another embodiment, an electrode for a battery is provided. The electrode includes an active material, a binder and carbon. In another embodiment, a battery is provided. The battery includes a cathode and an anode. The cathode includes an active material. In both cases, the active material includes a lithium-nickel-copper complex oxide represented by the formula LENixCui-xCh, wherein x is greater than 0 and less than 1.

Also proposed are several methods of manufacturing the active material for the electrode. The first method includes using precursors including lithium hydroxide (LiOH), copper (II) oxide (CuO) and nickel (II) oxide (NiO). The method further includes heating the precursors to generate a lithium-nickel-copper complex oxide represented by the formula LLNixCui-xCh, however x is greater than 0 and less than 1.

The second method includes using precursors including a metal oxalate hydrate represented by the formula MC2O4 2H2O, together M is nickel and copper. The method further includes heating the precursors to generate a lithium-nickel-copper complex oxide represented by the formula LLNixCui-xCh, however x is greater than 0 and less than 1.

The active material includes a lithium-nickel-copper complex oxide (LNCO).

The patent also describes an electrode film that comprises the active material, a binder, and a carbon material.

FIGS. 5, 6, 7 are plots 500, 600 and 700 showing electrochemical characterization of LLNixCui-xCh for x = 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7, respectively. N10.3CU0.7, Nio.sCuo.s and Nio.7Cuo 3 in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 represent Li2Nio.3Cuo.7O2, Li2Nio.5Cuo.5O2 and Li2Nio.7Cuo.3O2, respectively. Each of the plots 500, 600, 700 show voltage versus charge capacity of corresponding samples. Testing conditions for each sample includes a voltage range from about 3.2 volts (V) to about 4.3 V, C/20 charging/discharge rate, and a temperature of about 25 °C. C/20 charging/discharge rate may correspond to completely charging/discharging the sample for about 20 hours. Multiple cycles of C/20 charging/discharge are shown in plots 500, 600 and 700. Plots 500, 600 and 700 show that first charge capacity increases and is reversibility suppressed with decreasing nickel (Ni) content.

A schematic diagram illustrating a battery constructed according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a battery 100 constructed according to the present disclosure. In some embodiments, battery 100 is a rechargeable or secondary battery. Alternatively, battery 100 may be a non-rechargeable or primary battery. Battery 100 includes a cathode 102, an anode 104, an electrolyte 106, a separator 108 and a housing 109. Both cathode 102 and anode 104 contact electrolyte 106. Electrolyte 106 may be a liquid electrolyte or a solid electrolyte. Separator 108 is disposed between cathode 102 and anode 104 to prevent internal short circuit between cathode 102 and anode 104. A cathode terminal 110 is connected to cathode 102. An anode terminal 112 is connected to anode 104. Cathode terminal 110 and anode terminal 112 may be selectively connected to a load (not shown) or a charger (not shown) during discharge or charging, respectively, of battery 100.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, battery 100 includes a single electrochemical cell. However, battery 100 may include any number of electrochemical cells based on application requirements.

The company's progress in creating a 1 million-mile battery is highly visible. Tesla, who has been developing his batteries for several years, and recently began testing (the company has already tested the prototype of the cell as part of the secret project Roadrunner), is likely to present something amazing at Battery Day in the near future.




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