LeydenJar battery breakthrough with pure silicon anodes

LeydenJar battery technology

Only 3 or 4 companies worldwide are develop batteries with pure silicon. With a simple and direct application, LeydenJar is the first in the world.

LeydenJar developed a new pure silicon-based anode to boost lifetime and capacity of lithium-ion batteries. The result: the yield is a 50% higher energy density.

LeydenJar is a spin out venture from Energy Research Center ECN, developing pure silicon anodes that can generate up to 50% more energy density in Li-ion battery cells. 

Graphite versus silicon

The capacity of the usual graphite anodes is the main bottleneck to reach a higher energy density for a Li-ion battery. That’s why scientists all around the world are focusing on creating silicon anodes.

However, the problem with silicon as anode material, is that it expands with 300% in the lithiation process, leading to a brittled and useless anode material. A number of high tech ventures and some corporations have developed methods to include incremental silicon nanoparticles in composite structures, which can be included in a similar coating process as for graphite anodes.

LeydenJar Technologies is unique to use 100% silicon anodes, leading to superior anode capacity, created via depositioning directly on copper foil in one machine.

Breakthrough because of a failed experiment to improve solar panels

A former failed experiment to improve solar panels, proved to be successful in the battery industry. Dr. Wim Soppe (researcher ECN), was searching for smart thin solar panels and did an experiment with a thin silicon layer. For that application, the silicon layer appeared to be porous. But for battery technology this proved to be a breakthrough.

In the anode, silicon has a 10 times higher capacity than graphite. But silicon extents, so it’s hard to make an anode of pure silicon. In the case of LeydenJar, the pure silicon anode is porous and therefore able to absorb swelling. The silicon anode is mechanically stable and capable of maximizing the properties of silicon without breaking down.”

LeydenJar

The silicon technology is based on the plasma depositioning (PECVD) of nanostructured silicon pillars directly on copper foil. Benefits include up to a tenfold increase in capacity versus existing graphite anodes, mechanically stable during many cycles based on the porous nature of the material, and with the potential for rapid industrialization based on existing PECVD technology currently installed in the Semiconductor- and PV industry.

The team is still optimizing the battery by optimizing the commercial thickness of the anode and tries to find the best electrolyte in order to push up the cells with more than 100 cycles.

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