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Lithium Iron Phosphate Composites for Lithium Batteries (IN-11-024)

Low-Cost Phosphate Compounds Enhance Lithium Battery Performance

Argonne National Laboratory

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<p>
	<em>A bright field STEM image obtained in a high-resolution mode with a spatial resolution of 1 &Aring;. The image indicates the presence of crystalline-amorphous regions in one of the LiFePO<sub>4</sub> composite grains. These LiFePO<sub>4</sub>-inorganic composites have better cycling behavior and rate capability compared to the pristine material, all in the absence of carbon coating.</em></p>

A bright field STEM image obtained in a high-resolution mode with a spatial resolution of 1 Å. The image indicates the presence of crystalline-amorphous regions in one of the LiFePO4 composite grains. These LiFePO4-inorganic composites have better cycling behavior and rate capability compared to the pristine material, all in the absence of carbon coating.

Technology Marketing Summary

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a series of inexpensive, electrochemically active phosphate compounds that are highly functional when used in high-power and high-energy lithium batteries.

Description

Led by inventors Ilias Belharouak and Gary Koenig, a team of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has formulated a family of lithium iron composite materials with unique electrochemical features that enable the high-energy, high-power performance of olivine cathodes without the need for carbon coatings. The materials have excellent rate capability when used as the active material in a lithium-ion battery.

The compounds have multiple integrated phases of the general formula (1-x)LiFePO4·LixTix(PO4)δ  where both the LiFePO4 and the LixTix (PO4)δ are electrochemically active. The phrase “multiple integrated phases” refers to more than one crystallographic phase being present within the material. The integrated phases are not simply a solid solution wherein titanium would substitute for iron within the olivine structure or a mixture of LiFePO4 and a lithium titanium phosphate species. Instead, “multiple integrated phase” refers to the co-existence of a predominantly olivine phase LiFePO4 material and the segregation at the nanometer or micrometer scale of other titanium-containing phases. The process yields inexpensive, electrochemically active phosphate compounds with high functionality for use in high-power and high-energy lithium batteries.

Benefits
  • A simple, straightforward process that uses low-cost precursors and does not involve high energy consumption
  • Increased energy density and long cycle lifetime
  • No carbon coating is needed, which saves a processing step and reduces costs by 50%
  • Materials can be added at low cost without changing current scalable cathode manufacturing processes
Applications and Industries

Electrodes used in batteries for

  • Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • Portable electronic devices
  • Medical devices
  • Space, aeronautical, and defense-related devices
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IN-11-024PrototypeAvailable02/25/201302/25/2013

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To: Elizabeth Jordan<partners@anl.gov>