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Molecular Layer Deposition of Alucone Coating for Li-ion Battery Electrode Materials

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

By 2025, the global lithium-ion battery market is projected to be worth $93.1 billion with a CAGR of 17%, according to a recent study by Grand View Research.  As increasing standards of performance are required in this competitive battery storage market, the incorporation of new, higher-capacity materials is becoming necessary to replace production materials already used in commercialization. 

One such material that scientists are looking to replace in lithium ion batteries is the graphite anode.  To this end, silicon-based anodes show high potential for energy density improvement due to their theoretical ability to accommodate more lithium for a much higher capacity.  Silicon-based electrodes are not without their own impediments, however, so modification processes are under investigation to improve their interphase chemistry, conductivity, and mechanical integration.


Researchers at NREL and ALD NanoSolutions have developed an improved Si-based electrode material created by an innovative process that uses molecular layer deposition (MLD) to create surface modifications of silicon-based electrode materials in high-energy-density Li-ion batteries.  The modifications chemically and physically change the surface of the electrode materials with a conformal surface coating composed of a metal alkoxide polymer, such as alucone, with a tunable elastic modulus and chemical reactivity.  Where uncoated Silicon composite electrodes experience fast capacity decay after 60 cycles, our MLD improvements to the Si-based electrodes yield longer electrode lifespans and stronger potential for sustainable cycling performance.

  • Improvements to electrode interphase chemistry in Lithium Ion Batteries (LIB)
  • Decrease in material decay of silicon-based electrodes after cycling
Applications and Industries
  • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Emergency power backup systems
  • Solar power storage
  • Mobile telephone and electrical devices
  • Marine and recreation vehicle power supplies
  • Portable power packs
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
ROI 17-61PrototypeAvailable08/15/201808/15/2018

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To: Erin Beaumont<>