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Innovative lithium-titanium-oxide anodes improve battery safety and performance (IN-98-069)

Argonne National Laboratory

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Two orders of magnitude conductivity enhancement in Li4Ti5O12 with magnesium doping with no change in capacity or insertion potential.<br />
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Two orders of magnitude conductivity enhancement in Li4Ti5O12 with magnesium doping with no change in capacity or insertion potential.

Technology Marketing Summary

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To help improve the performance and safety of lithium-ion batteries, Argonne researchers have developed a new type of lithium-titanium-oxide material that can be used as a negative electrode (anode) for non-aqueous lithium-ion electrochemical cells and batteries.


Conventional lithium-ion battery configurations often contain graphite electrodes, which operate at a potential very close to that of metallic lithium and are extremely reactive. This composition can cause lithium-ion batteries to overheat, particularly if the battery is charged too rapidly or if it is overcharged without protective electronic circuitry.

The spinel, Li4Ti5O12, has been identified as a promising alternative to graphite electrodes. However, gains in safety provided by this material were achieved at the expense of cell voltage and energy density. Argonne scientists have successfully modified the lithium-titanium-oxide composition with a spinel-type structure that offers improved electronic conductivity. The Argonne innovation uses Li4-xMxTi5O12, in which M is Mg2+ and/or Al3+, to reduce the oxidation state of the titanium ions, thereby enhancing the electronic conductivity of the spinel electrode. This modification to lithium-titanium-oxide materials improve on the safety of graphite electrodes, while also offering enhanced voltage and energy density.

  • Prevents lithium deposition on overcharge
  • Improves safety
  • Increases reliability
  • Enhances cell
Applications and Industries
  • Transportation applications such as electric and hybrid-electric vehicles
  • Portable electronic devices such as cell phones and laptop computers
  • Medical devices
  • Space, aeronautical and defense-related devices
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,221,531
Lithium-titanium-oxide anodes for lithium batteries
A spinel-type structure with the general formula Li[Ti.sub.1.67 Li.sub.0.33-y M.sub.y ]O.sub.4, for 0<y.ltoreq.0.33, where M=Mg and/or Al. The structure is usefid as a negative electrode for a non-aqueous electrochemical cell and in a non-aqueous battery comprising an plurality of cells, electrically connected, each cell comprising a negative electrode, an electrolyte and a positive electrode, the negative electrode consisting of the spinel-type structure disclosed.
Argonne National Laboratory 04/24/2001
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Elizabeth Jordan<>