Novonix has manufactured single crystal NMC lithium-ion battery cathode material in partnership with the Obrovac Research Group at Dalhousie University, Canada.
The battery material was created using the Canadian firm’s proprietary Dry Particle Microgranulation (DPMG) technique, which the company launched in May.
Single crystal cathode materials have demonstrated better performance— such as enhanced energy density and ultra-long life in EV and ESS applications— over traditional polycrystalline cathode particles, the standard in lithium-ion batteries.
Dr Chris Burns, CEO of Novonix BTS, said: “After discovering the possibility to dry-synthesize cathode particles with polycrystalline structures using DPMG, the team immediately thought about how to use this technique to also make single crystal particles.
“We work with various NMC and NCA-style cathodes and continue to find that single crystal materials are the best choice for long cycle life applications such as electric vehicles and energy storage systems.”
A paper published last year in the journal The Electrochemical Society— authored by among others Jeff Dahn, who has worked with Tesla— presented results that showed single crystal NMC532/graphite cells displayed ‘exceptional lifetime’ beyond other NMC/graphite cells.
The paper ‘A Wide Range of Testing Results on an Excellent Lithium-Ion Cell Chemistry to be used as Benchmarks for New Battery Technologies’ projected a total EV driving time of 10 years, and 1.2 million km even if the cells were continually cycled at 40°C to 70% capacity.
Novonix’s managing director, Phil St Baker, said the battery material had the potential to deliver breakthrough step-change improvements in cost, performance and sustainability within the battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors.
He said the material could help address the ultra-long-life battery performance requirements— including Tesla’s million-mile battery life — being sought by electric vehicle OEMs.
Under the commercialisation arrangements with professor Obrovac and Dalhousie University, Novonix BTS owns the intellectual property rights to the new technology on an exclusive and royalty-free basis.