Synthesis and Processing of Cubic LiLaZrO for Use in Lithium Ion Batteries and Fuel Cells

 

Introduction

 

Lithium ion batteries are used in a wide variety of consumer goods such as cell phones, mp3 players, and digital cameras. These products are becoming increasingly smaller, requiring a smaller battery. Although lithium-based batteries provide superior energy densities over other battery types, lithium is high reactive with water. To safeguard against fire and thermal runaway, lithium batteries are currently encapsulated in packaging containing vents and thermal interrupts, which are space consuming. Eliminating the need for packaging reduces battery size and cost.

 

Description of Technology

 

Michigan State University’s invention involves a new method of synthesizing cubic lithium lanthanum zirconium oxide (LiLaZrO or LLZO) powders and consolidating the powders into a forms useful to solid state Li/Na ion batteries and Li/Na seawater/air semi fuel cells. LLZO serves as the electrolyte, is not moisture sensitive, and is stable when in contact with lithium. Integration of highly ordered hierarchical cathode electrodes with the ceramic electrolyte improves battery performance by reducing cathodic fowling. This new electrolyte improves safety and performance.

 

The invention includes a new procedure to construct the cathode, which maintains mass transport of oxygen and reduces fowling at the cathode. It also includes a new sol-gel method to synthesize the LiLaZrO electrolyte, which is easier and more environmentally friendly, and a new procedure to construct the Li anode/LiLaZrO electrolyte interface that lowers impedance.

 

Key Benefits

  • Stable in air
  • Increased power density
  • No need for exterior packaging making the battery smaller

 

Applications

  • Primary battery applications, such as cameras, flashlights, GPS units
  • Backup power
  • Military, such as radios, GPS units, and night vision equipment

 

Patent Status

 

Patent pending

 

Inventors

 

Jeff Sakamoto, Hyunjoong Kim, Yunsung Kim, Ryan Maloney, Ezhiyl Rangasamy

 

Tech ID

 

TEC2011-0073

 

Patent Information:

Category(s):

For Information, Contact:

Bradley Shaw
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
shawbr@msu.edu