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Graphitized Conductive Carbon Coatings for Composite Electrodes

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryRobert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method to improve the performance and operational life of composite electrodes by direct deposition of a continuous, uniform film of graphitic carbon coating on the active materials.DescriptionComposite electrodes used in primary and secondary batteries work more efficiently when resistance between the active material and the current collector is low. In conventional composite electrode preparation, the constituents are mixed together, and the resulting mechanical properties of the electrode and electronic conductivity matrix within the composite film are non-uniform and unstable.

In the Berkeley Lab process, thin layers of graphitic carbon are synthesized from organic precursors by a one-step microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD). The fast plasma discharge and subsequent rapid pyrolysis of an organic precursor result in a uniform coating of nano-crystalline graphite particles. Microwave heating reduces treatment time and produces graphitized carbons of higher electronic conductivity.

This fast, inexpensive, and simple method also allows for fabrication of nano-composite carbon/metal composite electrodes such as carbon/platinum or carbon/tin. Deposition of carbon/metal composite binderless thin films can be carried out on any type of substrate. The high porosity of the film and the fine dispersion of metal nanoparticles embedded in the three-dimensional carbon matrix result in superior power and energy density.
  • Produces highly conductive graphite-like carbon coatings
  • Helps improve rate performance of active materials in composite electrodes.
  • Provides battery electrodes with longer cycle and calendar life
  • Cost advantage vs. current pyrolytic methods; fast processing at lower temperatures
  • Graphite-like carbon films can be deposited on any type of substrate
  • One-step deposition of nano-dispersed carbon/metal composite thin-film electrodes for Li-ion batteries and fuel cells
  • Fine dispersion of metal nano-particles within 3-D carbon architecture result in superior power and energy density
Applications and Industries
  • Electrodes for batteries and fuel cells
  • Packaging
  • Cable and wire
  • Semiconductors
  • Coatings
More InformationMarcinek, M., L. J. Hardwick, T. J. Richardson, X. Song and R. Kostecki, "Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition of Nano-Structured Sn/C Composite Thin-Film Anodes for Li-ion Batteries," Journal of Power Sources, 173, 965 (2007).

Marcinek, Marek, Xiangyun Song, and Robert Kostecki, "Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition of Nano-Composite C/Pt Thin-Films," Electrochemical Communications, 9, 1739 (2007).

Marcinek, Marek and Robert Kostecki, "Microwave Plasma-Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition of Conductive Carbon Coatings on Cathode Active Materials for Li-ion Batteries," paper presented at ECS meeting in Los Angeles, October 16, 2005.
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Application 20080206484
Graphitized Carbon Coatings for Composite Electrodes
A method for forming a graphitic carbon film at low temperatures is described. The method involves using microwave radiation to produce a neutral gas plasma in a reactor cell. At least one carbon precursor material in the reactor cell forms a graphitic carbon film on a substrate in the cell under influence of the plasma. This method can be used to coat active electrode material powders with highly conductive carbon, which can be especially useful in forming composite electrodes. When an organometallic is used as the precursor, this method can also be used to form carbon/metal catalyst films.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 05/31/2006
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IB-2176DevelopmentAvailable - Available for licensing or collaborative research.06/18/201007/28/2010

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