By Cameron Chai
3M, a supplier of battery materials, announced that it has made investments in research and development of innovative, high-energy silicon-based anodes for use in lithium ion batteries. The research work will help develop new cell materials that will increase energy density and decrease cost of lithium ion battery systems used in electric vehicles (EVs).
The project uses 3M’s advanced battery materials technology. The research extends 3M’s long-term efforts to commercialize the battery technology for EVs and consumer electronics.
Recently, the company has secured another US patent for its silicon-based anode compositions, which can enhance the battery’s capacity by more than 40% when compared to high-energy cathodes. For the last 15 years, 3M has made significant investments to commercialize the battery technology.
Chris Milker, 3M Electronic Markets Materials Division’s Business Development Manager, remarked that the company is committed to support the expanding lithium ion battery industry worldwide. The investment in R&D along with their expertise and product portfolio provides them the necessary capabilities and confidence to develop next-generation battery materials, added Milker.
In early 2012, the company has completed the expansion of silicon anode manufacturing capacity at its facility located in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. The facility will deliver silicon anode material to the company’s battery customers.
3M has begun its research work on lithium ion battery materials in the 1990s. The company has developed three important materials utilized in lithium ion batteries: electrolytes such as salts and additives; cathode technologies, including cobalt, manganese and nickel; and silicon anode chemistry. The company helps its customers solve battery related problems using its wide range of materials.