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Nanomaterials for Lithium-Ion Batteries


The Development of High Quality Nano-Sized Cathode Material Based on Lithium Iron-Phosphate Technology and Its Application for High Power Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIBs) Assembling

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials
  • NNE-BCM/Batteries and Components/Non-Nuclear Energy

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NPO Lutch, Russia, Moscow reg., Podolsk

Supporting institutes

  • A.N.Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (IONKh), Russia, Moscow\nOOO «Scientific Technical Center «Electrochemical energy», Russia, Moscow reg., Podolsk


  • CNRS / Universite De Bourgogne, France, Dijon\nUniversitat Autonoma de Barselona / Departament de Quimica, Spain, Barselona\nUniversite Montpellier II / Institut Europeen des Membranes, France, Montpellier

Project summary

The goals of the Project are: development of an efficient way of synthesis of high-quality nano-sized composite material on the basis of lithium iron phosphate with an olivine structure (LiFePO4); the development of pilot technology for this material; electrode preparation and lithium-ion batteries containing olivine cathode (OLIBs) assembling.

The state-of-art in the field of investigations. The world’s tendencies in the secondary power sources development make rigid requirements to both specific characteristics of the batteries and its safety along with ecological compatibility. Thanks to the high energy density (up to 200 Wh/kg) lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are the leaders of the secondary battery market. However, typical commercially available LIBs with LiCoO2/graphite electrochemical system are not suitable for large-format power sources, for instance, for electric vehicles (EVs) applications due to low safety level and high cost of precursors (cobalt).

LIBs containing lithium iron phosphate cathode are the most perspective candidates for the large scale battery modules assembling due to their improved safety level, low cost of precursors and environmental compatibility. In this regards, olivine batteries are intensively developed all over the world and the demand growth for OLIBs is expected to multiple by 10-15 to 2013 compared to 2008 (Nano-enabled batteries for portable and rechargeable applications. // Innovative Research and Products, 2009, USA).

Impact of the project on progress of the subject. Implementation of the Project will allow obtaining a high quality LiFePO4-based cathode material with high specific characteristics and its application for high power OLIBs assembling. A remarkable feature of the cathode material developed is expected to be enhanced capability for high rate charge and discharge. This Project is supposed to become a step forward to the mass-production of LIBs in Russia.

Expertise of participants of the project. The staff of FSUE "SRI “Scientific and Industrial Association Luch” was engaged in the developments of sodium-sulfur batteries with solid electrolyte. The participants of the Project from STC “Electrochemical Energy” side have several year-experience of research in Samsung SDI (South Korea), one of the world’s leading companies in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. Participants from the IGIC RAS have vast experience in synthesis and study of complex phosphates and oxides of polyvalent elements along with alkali metals possessing high ionic conductivity. There is a considerable experience and all the necessary equipment for the measurements of ionic, electron conductivity and other transport properties of the materials. The participants from IPCE RAS have experience in fundamental research of processes taking place in power sources (in particular, in lithium-ion batteries) along with investigation of the materials for power sources.

Expected results and their application. Samples of high-quality active cathode material, a composite of lithium iron phosphate with conductive carbon (LiFePO4*C) appropriate for using in lithium-ion batteries, will be obtained as one of the results of the present Project. An effective way of synthesis of LiFePO4*C will be worked up. Electrodes will be prepared using LiFePO4*C composite and samples of high power batteries will be assembled.

The results obtained will be applied for the further development and improvement of materials for LIBs and for start-up of batteries mass-production in Russia.

Scope of activities.

Five basic interrelated tasks are planned to be fulfilled during the Project implementation as follows:

1. Synthesis and analysis of composite cathode material (LiFePO4*C) samples.
Literature review on the synthesis of olivine materials will be made within this task. The samples of composite LiFePO4*C material will be obtained aiming to understand the basis of its laboratory synthesis. Electrochemical properties of the samples will be investigated.
2. Composite lithium iron phosphate properties optimization.
The goal of this stage is determination of the main factors affecting the electrochemical characteristics, ionic and electronic conductivity of olivine-containing cathode material; improvement of synthesis process on the basis of the results obtained. The synthesis and testing of heterovalently doped in cation and anion sub-lattices olivine-based material samples are planned. Application of wide spectrum of analytical methods will allow monitoring of structure-properties relation for the material. The samples of LiFePO4*C with the best characteristics will be selected for the subsequent electrode preparation.
3. Electrode preparation using cathode material obtained for the LIB assembling.
A midpoint of this stage will be the selection of the components (binder, conductive carbon, solvents) and their ratios for the active electrode slurry preparation. Testing of various types of anode active material – graphite is planned in order to choose the optimum one compatible with olivine cathode.
4. OLIBs assembling and testing.
Appropriate construction of lithium-ion battery will be elaborated, the samples of LIB will be assembled and electrochemical properties will be investigated at high rate charge and discharge. Optimum electrolyte composition will be selected according to the electrochemical testing results. An analysis of the battery components after the electrochemical investigations will be conducted to gain an insight into mechanism of solid electrolyte interphase layers formation and degradation routes of active electrode materials.
5. Final optimization of lithium-ion batteriey and its materials in terms of composition and properties.
Composition of the battery will be finally optimized on the basis of preliminary testing results to obtain pre-production sample of OLIB with high specific characteristics. An appropriate electrochemical formation modes of batteries will be found.

Technical approaches and methodology.

The interconnection between different steps of the Project and its strong relation to the Project objectives will be the basis of the methodology used.

A complex approach to the synthesis of LiFePO4*C and battery assembling using modern electrochemical and analytical methods will allow deep insight into “structure-properties” interrelation. It will increase the effectiveness of the research and will allow gaining the final objectives.

Long-term consequences of the project.

A novel composite lithium iron phosphate-based cathode material can be applied for mass-production along with OLIBs taking into account an increasing demand for this type of power sources. The results of synthesis and electrochemical study of LiFePO4*C samples are of fundamental value for materials science of chemical power source.

Prospects of participants of the project are the application of the results obtained to production and further development of novel materials for power sources.

The intellectual property is made out as papers. The analysis of available scientific literature in the field of lithium iron phosphate as a cathode material and lithium-ion batteries assembling is conducted. The revealing of useful differences will result in recommendations for further improvement of batteries.

Demonstration of the project. The synthesis of olivine composite cathode material along with the study of its ionic and electronic conductivity will be conducted in the Laboratory of Chemistry of Phosphates of the IGIC RAS. The samples of olivine cathode material will be obtained there. Electrochemical properties of the cathode material will be investigated in the IPCE RAS in a model cell. The assembling of lithium-ion batteries comprising olivine cathode and their testing will be carried out in the STC “Electrochemical Energy” Ltd.


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