Chemicals company Johnson Matthey is to license five patents as it looks to accelerate the adoption of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries.
The deal with US firm 3M will allow the UK firm to focus on providing a bigger portfolio of cathode materials for the automotive and high performance markets.
NMC cathode materials can be tailored through changes in composition and morphology to get the best performance in vehicles using anything from micro-hybrid systems to full electric.
Cathode compositions composed of nickel, manganese and cobalt are known to offer a balance of power, energy, thermal stability and cost.
Neil Collins, director of Johnson Matthey’s Battery Materials business, said the deal represented a further step in their long-term goals.
“We look forward to applying our skills in nickel chemistry and in the scale-up and manufacturing of battery materials as we work with our customers to develop customised commercial products.”
Christian Milker, global business manager of 3M’s Electronics Materials Solutions Division, said the rapid growth of the electric vehicle market was driving the need for NMC-based cathode materials globally and especially in China.