German scientists have developed a new cobalt-free cathode material that could prove to be the next step towards affordable, safe, high-energy lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
The scientists claim the lithium nickel manganese oxide used for the cathode provides more than 210 milliampere hours per gram (mAh g-1) storage capacity.
The increase is achieved because of a high operating voltage of more than 4.5 volts.
The chemistry increases the thermal stability of the cell in a charged state, which in turn improves battery safety, the scientists at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) claim.
Preliminary results, they say, show it could improve battery life, demonstrating 150 cycles without capacity loss for complete cells consisting of graphite as the anode material.
The ZSW scientists claim to have already delivered high-quality samples on a kilogramme scale, producing powder consisting of spherical particals with a high tap density of 2.4 grammes per cubic centrimetre.
This particle size is comparable to those in conventional cathode materials, which means they can be easily implemented into commercial electrode-coating processes.
The research centre in Ulm, as reported in BEST, was opened in September 2014 for the development of electric vehicle batteries. For more on this story click here.