Showing posts with label Lithium ion battery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lithium ion battery. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Ascent Funds Invests in Forge Nano Atomic Armor for Lithium-Ion Batteries & Hydrogen Fuel Cells

September 13, 2022; Miami, USA: Ascent Funds (“Ascent”), an energy-tech venture company today announced it has invested in Forge Nano Inc (“Forge Nano”), inventor of nanocoating technology Atomic Armor, which coats a protective atomic layer on a wide range of materials, powders and products to deliver greater performance for a lower cost. Forge Nano is preparing to build a US$120 million 500MWh Atomic Armor battery facility in Denver, Colorado which will deliver some of the most efficient and longest lasting batteries in the world.




Batteries that have Atomic Armor; last 100% longer, charge 300% faster

Forge Nano is the global leader in scalable atomic layer deposition (“ALD”), a unique coating technology that produces a protective atomic layer on a range of materials, powders, and products providing greater protection, performance, durability and safety.

Invented in the 1960s, ALD is mainly used in the semiconductor and OLED industries with the technology commonly found in many mobile phone components. Since 2011, Forge Nano has developed a proprietary ALD process that allows for four times faster coating speeds than any other semiconductor ALD tool provider and enables scale for use on powders and larger surface area objects, such as; lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, consumer, sporting and apparel products. Forge Nano calls their ALD coating Atomic Armor.

Atomic Armor works especially well for battery materials, where it stabilizes the surfaces at the atomic level. These coatings prevent excessive wear and damage to the batteries by preventing unwanted reactions among the battery’s internal components. Batteries that have Atomic Armor last 100% longer, charge 300% faster, and dissipate heat more effectively.

Over the past decade, Forge Nano has emerged as a market leader in large-scale ALD. In 2021, Forge Nano announced the world’s first ALD enabled battery for space, with the launching of a high energy lithium-ion battery into orbit aboard the SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission. The Li-ion batteries, featuring Forge Nano Particle ALD technology and Enersys Zero Volt Technology were integrated into spire Global, Inc’s LEMUR-2 satellite.

Atomic Armor can improve performance in hydrogen fuel cells, electrolyzers and storage

Since 2019, Forge Nano has collaborated with the U.S Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Connecticut, Colorado School of Mines and Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems in Germany to accelerate the development of more efficient component parts for hydrogen fuel cells, electrolyzers and hydrogen storage technology. In the hydrogen value chain, Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor can transition fuel cells away from low-scale, costly electrode fabrications while increasing durability and limiting the use of platinum group metals. This reduces both the cost of the fuel cell as well as the technology’s dependence on expensive metals.

Mr David Wu, President of Ascent Funds said, “At Ascent, we look for transformational technology that can have an immediate and profound impact on the energy transition, especially in the hydrogen ecosystem. With over a decade’s experience in enhancing lithium-ion batteries and other materials, Forge Nano is the only commercially large-scale ALD player that can offer a real step-change in productivity, performance and cost for hydrogen companies. For example, instead of using expensive platinum or titanium catalysts, fuel cells could use low cost metal catalysts coated with atomic armor. Until now, atomic armor for hydrogen technology was a theoretical ambition because it couldn’t be scaled – today, atomic armor is a reality’.

Mr. Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano, said: “We are excited to have Ascent join us as investors and advisors. They have a strong track record in identifying game changing technologies and helping those companies to scale and commercialize. In addition, Ascent’s knowledge and experience across the global hydrogen industry will be paramount as our technology becomes an accelerant in the energy transition, particularly for mobility, be it BEV or FCEV.”

Ascent joins existing shareholders Volkswagens, LG Chem, Air-Liquide, Mitsui Kinzoku, Sumitomo and SCG from Thailand.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Materion to develop advanced chemicals for EV batteries, semiconductor chips at new facility

Materion Corporation (NYSE: MTRN), a world leader in high-performing advanced materials, announced today that it has established a new facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to accelerate the growth of advanced chemical solutions for the semiconductor and electric vehicle (EV) battery markets.

The new 150,000 square foot facility expands the company’s capacity to produce Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) materials for the most sophisticated semiconductor chips and provide advanced chemicals for the development of next-generation battery technology for EV’s. Production capabilities are expected to ramp up during the first half of next year.

“This expansion is in direct response to the confidence that our customers have in Materion as a critical partner in the development of game-changing technologies to advance growth aligned with these exciting megatrends,” President and CEO Jugal Vijayvargiya said. “We are proud of the role that we will play in the development of the most technically advanced semiconductor chips for a wide variety of applications as well as next-generation batteries that will support the broader adoption of electric vehicles globally.”

Building on Materion’s existing portfolio of electronic materials and premium thin film target solutions, the expansion of its ALD capabilities will significantly enhance the company’s position as a leading global supplier to the high-growth semiconductor industry. The move follows the company’s successful 2021 acquisition of the HCS-Electronic Materials business, which added tantalum- and niobium- based solutions to Materion’s portfolio of precious and non-precious metal targets, extending the company’s global reach and expanding its position with leading semiconductor chip manufacturers.

On the EV front, Materion is working with a number of leading battery manufacturers on the development of inorganic chemicals to be used in their next-generation battery solutions focused on enabling longer range, faster-charging and enhanced safety. Following a multi-year R&D partnership, one specific customer is funding $6 million to establish a prototype line in the new Milwaukee facility. Materion’s relationships with next-generation battery customers are expected to further strengthen the company’s already strong position as a critical supplier to the automotive market, as today the company develops advanced materials for use in a wide variety of applications that include battery and electric connectors and lidar optics.

About Materion

Materion Corporation is headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Materion, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, supplies highly engineered advanced enabling materials to global markets. Products include precious and non-precious specialty metals, inorganic chemicals and powders, specialty coatings, specialty engineered beryllium alloys, beryllium and beryllium composites, and engineered clad and plated metal systems.

Source: Materion Corporation - Materion Establishes New Facility to Accelerate Growth in the Semiconductor and Electric Vehicle Markets




Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Dutch deep tech start-up Delft IMP secures €10 million series A funding to scale up technology that radically extends battery life

Sandwater, a Nordic venture capitalist and Invest-NL have agreed to a €10 million investment in Delft IMP. This allows Delft IMP to accelerate their nanocoating process to industrial scale enabling more durable batteries and other sustainable applications. The investors in this Series A are Sandwater and Invest-NL. Sandwater has a broad portfolio of investments aiming to enable progress together with its founders. Invest-NL is the government owned impact investor supporting innovation and sustainability in the Netherlands. 



Delft IMP has unique expertise in developing ultra-thin coatings on powders and has the proprietary technology to produce these materials at scale. The ultra-thin nanocoatings protect, for example battery powder from the harsh surroundings and thus enhances the life time of the battery. The Delft IMP application technology enables them to control the process to optimize the film thickness and reduce the use of scarce raw materials. 

Ruud van Ommen

Founder & Professor in Chemical Engineering at TU Delft


Jacob Moulijn

Founder & Emeritus Professor in Catalysis Engineering at TU Delft

The real benefit of the Delft IMP technology comes from the elegant way they are able to scale up the atomic layer deposition (ALD) based coating process to industrial scale. This makes it possible to deliver this benefit cost effective to a wide range of battery applications, supporting the electrification of mobility. Coating the battery powders, provides the flexibility to encounter this benefit in current and also future generations. Delft IMP is not your next battery company, but instead they work together with leading battery companies to extend the lifetime of batteries and reduce the consumption of scarce minerals. This facilitates the sustainable use of raw materials, and will also bring radical performance improvements to other technologies such as electrolysers and fuel cells. 

“We are solving the big problems in the world, by going very small: We are applying ultra-thin coatings on powder material and enable production at scale with a unique technology originating from Delft University of Technology.” said Dr. Roderik Colen, CEO of Delft IMP. 

Torkel Engeness (Sandwater) “We at Sandwater are in the market for the radical solutions of tomorrow. Sandwater believes that active ownership enables progress and is looking forward to sharing the journey together with Invest NL and Delft IMP”.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Forge Nano and Mineral Commodities Enter Into MOU to Produce ALD-Coated Natural Graphite Anode Powders

DENVER, Aug. 19, 2021 [LINK] - Mineral Commodities Ltd., Perth l, WA, Australia, and Forge Nano Inc., Colorado, USA have signed a memorandum of understanding ("MOU") for the use of Forge Nano's proprietary Atomic Layer Deposition coating technology ("ALD"). Forge Nano's surface engineering platform technology will be used to apply atomic level coatings to Mineral Commodities' natural graphite materials.



Dr. Surinder Ghag, MRC's Chief Technology Officer, explains: "By combining our high-quality natural graphite with Forge Nano's ALD coating technology, we can produce a high-performing, cost-competitive graphite anode powder for lithium-ion batteries. We're very excited about this long-term partnership as we target sustainable European anode production in the coming years. This collaboration enables the Company to continue building its technical expertise as it moves towards demonstrating a downstream process for graphite spheronization, purification and coating."

Paul Lichty, Forge Nano's Chief Executive Officer, adds: "We are excited to be fully supporting Mineral Commodities as a key technology partner in their path towards large-scale anode powder production. Our high-throughput ALD coating technology will enable them to compete with established anode producers globally. The collaboration adds to our growing set of partnerships in the graphite anode space, a testament to the value of our technology."

Why does the ALD coating process work so well for graphite anode powders?

ALD coatings on graphite anode powder stabilize the surface defects. This ALD stabilization results in better anode powders with higher discharge capacities, longer life, and improved rate performance. Batteries using ALD-stabilized graphite show increased cycle life, reduced capacity fade, increased conductivity, and greater stability under a variety of conditions such as high voltage, fast charge, or high/low temperature storage and operation. Additionally, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a potential replacement for carbon coatings on natural graphite powders, a process that few companies have the know-how for.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

BASF and Umicore have entered a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement for battery cathode active materials and their precursors

BASF and Umicore have entered into a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of cathode active materials (CAM) and their precursors (PCAM), including chemistries such as nickel cobalt manganese (NCM), nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA), nickel cobalt manganese aluminum (NCMA) and lithium rich, high manganese high energy NCM (HE NCM).

CAMs are critical for the performance, safety and cost of lithium-ion batteries used in modern electromobility and other applications. The interplay between PCAM and CAM and the development of these materials are crucial to maximize battery cell performance. For many years, BASF and Umicore have been investing intensively in product innovation for low, medium and high nickel PCAM and CAM resulting in each company owning sizeable and largely complementary patent portfolios.



BASF Research on high-performance battery materials at BASF’s laboratory in Ludwigshafen, Germany (above). Umicore 3D open battery cell (below).

Building on each other’s strong product technology expertise to support the technological needs of their customers, BASF and Umicore have entered into a landmark patent agreement allowing both partners to combine a wider range of IP-protected technologies related to features such as chemical composition, powder morphology and chemical stability. The agreement increases both parties’ ability to customize their materials to meet the increasingly diversified and complex customer requirements at the battery cell and application level. Furthermore, through this agreement both parties can increase even more their product development speed demonstrating their commitment to addressing the main challenges e-mobility is facing, such as energy density, safety and cost while enhancing transparency and reducing IP-risks for battery cell manufacturers and their customers.

The agreement covers more than 100 patent families filed in Europe, US, China, Korea and Japan. Both parties retain the right to enforce their own IP-rights against third parties in the future.

“This agreement with Umicore enables even faster, more sustainable and innovative battery materials development to serve our customers including battery cell manufacturers and automotive,” said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President of BASF Catalysts. “The continuous development of battery materials will accelerate the transformation towards full electrification and thus support the world’s efforts to fight climate change.”
Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore, commented: “This agreement with BASF is an important step in promoting cathode material innovation. It strengthens our technology positioning and further increases our ability to develop bespoke solutions which meet the most stringent performance and quality standards of our battery and automotive customers.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Canada's Gratomic Enters EV Battery Supply Chain With Forge Nano and ALD

TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Gratomic Inc. ("GRAT", "Gratomic" or the "Company") (TSXV:GRAT)(OTCQX:CBULF)(FRANKFURT:CB82) is pleased to announce its plans to build a pilot facility (the "Facility") to internally process up to 1,000 tons of SG16 battery grade anode materials for the booming Electronic Vehicle ("EV") battery market in the second half of 2021. This initial pilot facility, if successful (as demonstrated by internal testing), is expected to be followed by the construction of a demonstration facility, which will process up to approximately 2,000 tons per annum beginning in 2022 and up to 20,000 tons per annum once the demonstration facility is converted into a full final production phase. The facility will be located at the Company's owned warehouse located at the Port of Luderitz Bay. While Gratomic completes the development of the pilot facility graphitic material will be shipped to Forge Nano, Inc. ("Forge Nano") for Atomic Layer Deposition ("ALD") coating in preparation for use as a battery anode material. This processing facility will enable the Company to take our raw graphite material to the final stages required for use in a battery anode application.


Forge Nano's ALD coating technology for use in lithium-ion battery anode applications, could result in significant gains in performance to Gratomic's SG16 battery graphite compounds, as per our press release dated October28. The Company has therefore entered into a cooperative agreement with Forge Nano, a leading expert in the field of battery materials (www.forgenano.com), to not only undertake the ALD coating process but also to assist in the planning and development of GRAT's aforementioned processing facility. Battery anode materials generally consists of three stages of processing: micronization, spheronization and coating. Forge Nano specializes in the final coating stage with their patented ALD coating technology. This facility will work in tandem with the Company's Aukam vein graphite project, which is now in its commissioning phase (See Company's press release dated March 29).

Procurement of the equipment system capable of applying ALD coatings for use in the Facility will be released by Forge Nano upon the successful completion of various performance and cost milestones (See "Scope of Collaboration" below).

Gratomic's Ludertiz Bay property covers 6,564 square meters and contains three buildings including a large warehouse, a double garage with six storerooms/workshops and a single garage with two offices and a store-room. The Company intends to use the warehouse for the ALD processing and packaging of its graphite. The property provides Gratomic with waterfront access to the Port of Luderitz and to container facilities, enabling direct delivery to ports in Europe, Asia and North America.

Furtehr details: LINK

Friday, March 19, 2021

Woxna AB in Sweden & Forge Nano USA to evaluate ALD coated graphite anode material for Lithium batteries

Sweden is steaming ahead in the Li-battery supply chain with Gigafab activities in North Sweden by Northvolt and traditionally have a strong Automotive sector led by Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, and Scania. Perhaps less known, there are also vast sources of graphite in Sweden and Woxna AB is one of the key mining companies for supplying graphite, which is a material needed for the anode in Li-battery production. So now the cool news - Woxna AB is going with ALD to coat the graphite anode material dug up at various places in Sweden! If the demonstrations are successful we are looking at a future demonstration plant at one of Woxnas graphite mining locations in Sweden - obviously, we will then move any plans of the ALD Sweden Conference to somewhere near that location and ask King Carl Gustav to join us in celebrating this historical milestone *fingers crossed*

ALD Company, Forge Nano, and Leading Edge Materials Corp., through its subsidiary Woxna Graphite AB are pleased to announce development work on the coating of graphite anode material from Woxna using Forge Nano's proprietary Atomic Layer Deposition technology (Press release: LINK).


Leading Edge Materials commenced graphite production at the Woxna Graphite project in July 2014. Woxna is strategically located in central Sweden, on the doorstep of a diverse range of European graphite consumers. Woxna is a fully permitted site, with an open pit mine, graphite processing facility and tailings storage dam already constructed. The site is currently permitted to feed 100,000 ton of graphitic rock per year, which allows for the production of approximately 10,000 tons of graphite concentrate (Source: Woxna Graphite AB, LINK)

From the press release: Compared with traditional coating technologies Forge Nano's ALD coatings offer added benefits such as the ability to control the thickness of the coating at the nanoscale, lower costs, reduced carbon footprint and equipment ready for commercial-scale production. As part of the agreement, Woxna will send samples of spherical purified graphite to Forge Nano for coating, performance testing, and evaluation against other previously carbon-coated Woxna spherical graphite materials. If successful, the agreement outlines a path to purchase equipment from Forge Nano with a capacity suited for deployment in a future demonstration plant at the Woxna graphite mine.

Filip Kozlowski, CEO of Leading Edge states "Coating is the last and most valuable step towards becoming a future active anode materials producer in Europe. Being offered the opportunity to collaborate with a market leader in this field like Forge Nano is a great step forward for the Woxna Graphite project. The advantages of Forge Nano's ALD coating for anode materials are well documented and with the support of some significant European investors in the battery value chain their technology could be the perfect solution to enable a sustainable source of high-performance active anode materials from Sweden."

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Norwegian Morrow Batteries and Dutch startup Delft IMP have signed a JDA for ALD improved batteries

Morrow Batteries explores new technology with Dutch startup-company Morrow Batteries and Delft IMP have agreed to explore a joint collaboration in using ultra-thin coating technologies to produce lower cost and more sustainable batteries. Norway-based Morrow Batteries and Dutch-based startup Delft IMP have agreed to investigate the joint development of new improved batteries. The technology used is based on atomic layer deposition (ALD).


“We are applying ultra thin coatings on powder material and can produce these at scale with a unique technology originating from Delft University of Technology.” said Dr. Roderik Colen, CEO of Delft IMP. “It is a matter of time before breakthrough developments using ultra thin coatings become commercially available. The development of Morrow Industrialization Centre (MIC) provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate this at scale.”

Press release: LINK

Morrow Batteries AS: LINK

Morrow Industrialization Centre (MIC) will include a pilot manufacturing line and a R&D centre. We aim to start building MIC in 2022 and be operational in 2023.

Morrow Giga Factory will be a giga-scale battery cell manufacturing factory. We are currently evaluating alternative locations and expect to take a decision by the end of 2020. We aim to start cell manufacturing in our giga-scale battery cell factory by the end of 2024.

Delft IMP: LINK

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Roll-To-Roll ALD to Thermally Stabilizing NCM Cathodes for Lithium Ion Batteries

Universities in USA, China and Taiwan have developed a roll-to-roll atomic layer deposition (R2R ALD) apparatus for growing uniform thin layers of TiO2 that can be used to passivate NCM lithium battery cathode material. At a roll line speed: 2–40 mm s–1 the deposition of the TiO2was investigated. 
  • The capacity retention of TiO2-coated porous electrodes is substantially improved compared to that of the pristine cathode material for high-temperature cycling. 
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy confirms that the ALD-TiO2 coating suppresses the undesired side reactions initiated at the electrode/electrolyte interface, reduces charge transfer resistance, and ultimately facilitates the Li+ transport through the composite cathode nanostructure. 
  • The NCM cathode material enables high-temperature operation (>55 °C) with enhanced specific capacity, superior rate capability, excellent cyclability, and high coulombic efficiency within a wide potential window (3.0–4.35 V). 
  • The R2R ALD technique developed in this work paves the way for large-scale fabrication of ceramic-coated cathode sheets with a production rate reaching 2.4 m min–1 for a continuous coating operation.
The schematic diagram of R2R ALD system, consisted of four main parts: gas delivering unit, sample delivering unit, plasma reactor unit, and ALD shower array unit. Figure from supporting info: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.0c01541


Reference:
Roll-To-Roll Atomic Layer Deposition of Titania Nanocoating on Thermally Stabilizing Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide Cathodes for Lithium Ion Batteries
ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2020, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date:November 11, 2020


Monday, November 16, 2020

Dutch SALD and German Fraunhofer to develop Spatial ALD technology for production of 1,000 km range EV battery modules

Several reports state that Dutch SALD, a subsidiary of SoLayTec, and German Fraunhofer have jointly developed a Spatial ALD (SALD) technology for producing EV batteries that aim at 1,000 km range.
 
Not too many details are available at this point, please check SALD below for further details

SALD: LINK



From SALD Webpage: Li-ion batteries are indispensable for consumer electronics and electric vehicles, and it is vital that the safety, longevity and capacity of these batteries is maximized. Spatial ALD can assist in this. For common Li-ion batteries that comprise liquid electrolytes, ALD can be used to prepare the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI). This artificial SEI - typically about a nanometer in thickness - protects the anode or cathode active materials (CAMs) from the electrolyte, enhancing the long-term stability and safety of the Li-ion battery.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Roll-to-roll ALD for lithium-ion batteries by Beneq R2R

In this talk with Dr. Tommi Kääriäinen of Beneq they discuss how ALD can help solve performance and safety issues for ever-evolving lithium-ion battery products. Specifically they compare roll-to-roll ALD, a tool design pioneered by Beneq, with particle ALD technology.



Don´t miss to register and tune in to Forge Nanos PALD Summit today!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Argonne National Laboratory Installs Forge Nano’s Prometheus ALD tool to enable next gen ALD research and innovation.

[Press release, Forge Nano, LINK] LOUISVILLE, CO., October 2019 — Delivery and installation of Forge Nano’s industry leading, lab-scale ALD tool- Prometheus has been completed.

Forge Nano’s Prometheus tool is a lab-scale R&D tool designed to make ALD research approachable and affordable. The Prometheus series of ALD tools have been designed to be the world’s most robust, flexible, and economical ALD tools available. Designed with the lab environment in mind, applying nanoscale encapsulating coatings on milligrams to kilograms of powders has never been more attainable. It can also be used to coat small objects.

The Prometheus system accommodates up to 8 precursors, including basic delivery and low vapor pressure delivery draw systems to handle gas, liquid, and solid precursor recipes with ease. (www.foregnano.com)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

High-performance lithium-ion battery materials with Picosun ALD

ESPOO, Finland, 3rd December 2019 – Picosun Group, the provider of AGILE ALD® (Atomic Layer Deposition) thin film coating technology for global industries, reports excellent results achieved with ALD in the manufacturing of lithium ionthin film battery materials.

Solid-state Li-ion thin film batteries (SSLIBs) are small, compact and may have flexible construction. They don’t contain any aggressive liquid substances, so they are safe to use. Furthermore, SSLIBs possess excellent energy storage capacity, which is why they are regarded as ideal power sources for electric cars, laptops, tablets and smartphones, wireless sensors, implantable and wearable medical devices, and harvesting devices for renewable energy sources. The impact of Li-ion battery technology on our modern society, permeated by portable electronics, wireless data transfer and mobile communications, is so huge that it earned its developers, Dr. John B. Goodenough, Dr. M. Stanley Whittingham, and Dr. Akira Yoshino, the Nobel chemistry prize this year.

As the performance requirements of these devices increase, functional characteristics of their power sources should be improved as well. Transition from planar, 2D battery geometry to corrugated 3D one with much higher active surface area for energy storage could augment the energy and power density of SSLIB. However, finding a suitable method for depositing the functional material layers on the complex microscale structures of the 3D batteries poses another challenge.
 


Diagram of a conventional 2D all-solid-state thin-film Li-ion battery structure (a), its SEM section view (b), and advantages of the 3D battery structure. Image source: Yue et. al., Fabrication of Si-based three-dimensional microbatteries: A review, in Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering 2017 (doi: 10.1007/s11465-017-0462-x).

Picosun’s ALD technology has now been successfully used to fabricate high-quality, high-performance thin film NiO anodes for SSLIBs. Compared to graphite, which is widely used to produce anodes of lithium-ion batteries, deposited NiO films had more than twice as large capacity and more than three times as high density (*). The surpassing characteristics of NiO potentially allow improvement of the energy density of SSLIBs.

In addition to high quality and performance of the ALD NiO anodes, ALD’s unmatched capability to produce conformal and uniform coatings with excellent purity and repeatability inside challenging microscale architectures such as high aspect ratio trenches makes it an ideal method for 3D SSLIB materials manufacturing. Also, the ALD processes for several other anode materials such as SnO2, CoO, and MnO are well-known and thoroughly studied.

“We are very pleased with the PICOSUN® ALD system at our facilities, and all the support and consultancy we have received from Picosun over the years. With our ALD system we have been able to deposit dense, uniform ALD NiO films with low roughness and very high capacity. The excellent qualities of these films allowed us to develop high-performance anodes for SSLIBs,” says Picosun customer, Dr. Maxim Maximov from Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), Russia.

“Battery applications are yet one example of ALD’s flexibility as a method, and how new industries discover the possibilities of ALD day by day. Deep trenches with aspect ratios exceeding 1:2500 have been successfully coated with our ALD tools equipped with our patented Picoflow™ feature, which further advocates the use of our technology in 3D solid state Li-ion battery manufacturing. We are happy that our ALD solutions can be potentially utilized in future’s energy storage solutions in conjunction with clean energy production, and to power more compact healthcare devices, to improve people’s quality of life,” states Dr. Jani Kivioja, CTO of Picosun Group.

Picosun provides the most advanced ALD thin film coating technology to enable the industrial leap into the future, with turn-key production solutions and unmatched expertise in the field. Today, PICOSUN® ALD equipment are in daily manufacturing use in numerous major industries around the world. Picosun is based in Finland, with subsidiaries in Germany, North America, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Japan, offices in India and France, and a world-wide sales and support network. Visit www.picosun.com.

(*) Yury Koshtyal et. al., Atomic Layer Deposition of NiO to Produce Active Material for Thin-Film Lithium-Ion Batteries, Coatings 2019, 9, 301; doi:10.3390/coatings9050301. Open access: https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6412/9/5/301

For more information about the application of ALD in Li-ion batteries, please visit Dr. Maxim Maximov’s profile at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Maxim_Yu_Maximov.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 - A highly competitive breeding ground for new IP

The motivation for this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry reads "for the development of lithium-ion batteries". John B. Goodenough (The University of Texas at Austin, USA), M. Stanley Whittingham (Binghamton University, State University of New York, USA) and Akira Yoshino (Asahi Kasei Corporation, Tokyo, Japan and Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan) receive the award as well as SEK 3 million each.

The basis for the lithium-ion battery was laid during the oil crisis in the 1970s. Lithium-ion batteries are light, rechargeable, and powerful batteries that are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles (EVs). The lithium battery cells can also be deployed in systems to store vast amounts of energy produced by solar and wind power, which enables a fossil-free society.
The battery technology that has conquered the world

Since the first lithium-ion batteries came on the market in 1991, they have entirely changed the existence throughout the world. They have laid the foundation for a wireless and fossil-free society, and are today of enormous benefit to humanity. If we look at the lithium-ion battery from a technical and innovative perspective and link the technology area to patents, we see an explosive increase in patent applications between the years 2008-2017, a period when battery technology has penetrated the world market. Some of the large companies that have been inspired by the Nobel Prize winners and their technical achievements are: Tesla (USA), Toyota (Japan), Volkswagen (Germany), BASF (Germany), Umicore (Belgium), CATL (China) and Northvolt (Sweden), which is currently establishing itself in northern Sweden. These are companies active across the complete value chain, from raw materials suppliers, battery cell production to end-user consumer applications.

A minefield for new patent applications

The companies and innovators who are now entering the lithium-ion technology business and are considering applying for patents, no matter what application area they intend to work in, are entering a veritable minefield. It is an extremely challenging area for new patent applications. The situation places high demands on qualified analysis of both the main technology area, adjoining technology areas, market situations, the actions of existing players and new players' strategies. Here, adequate patent information in the hands of an expert in patent information can straighten out many question marks, not least because the patent data consists of both technical, legal, and business-related information.

To see what the others do not see

When I, as an expert in seeking, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from patent information, launches, both the historical, the current, and the future perspectives, are at stake. Drawing conclusions from historical patent data and translating it into future potential is an unusual ability that not many commands.

The amount of patent data, the variety of data, and the speed at which new patent data is published are continuously increasing. Properly handled and, above all, adequately analyzed, patent data can increase insights, support business decisions, and create new values and stronger negotiating positions for your company. I think it is a waste not to use the power of patent data more than is done today.

Contact me so we take a closer look at a technology area that is important to your company's future.

Ervin Dubaric


Guest Blog by Dr. Ervin Dubaric, Patent Information Specialist at Bergenstråhle & Partners, Stockholm, Sweden

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

LG Technology Ventures & Mitsui Kinzoku-SBI Material Innovation Fund Join Forge Nano Inc. Series A

LOUISVILLE, Colo., Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsui Kinzoku-SBI Material Innovation Fund and LG Technology Ventures join in Forge Nano's Series A, bringing the total investment to date to $18M, up from Volkswagen's initial $10M investment announced in January 2019.

The investment will help to accelerate advanced materials for new battery technologies while also broadening applications for atomic-level nano-coatings into a diverse set of new markets. Forge Nano's technology paves the way for entirely new applications for nanoscale surface engineering. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is an ultra-thin film deposition process that allows precision coatings that are the thickness of one atom to be deposited one layer at a time onto a surface. Forge Nano's ALD enabled core-shell battery materials have been demonstrated to improve the energy density, charge rate, cycle life, and safety of lithium-ion batteries as well as to enable next generation battery technologies.

Beyond batteries, ALD nano-coatings are enabling the next era of higher performance materials for catalysts, 3D printing, thermal fillers, separations and an array of other new market applications. Virtually any application using industrial powders that benefit from tuned surface properties but require precise, uniform and conformal coatings that are chemically bonded to the surface can now use ALD nano-coatings to unlock the next level of performance and value.

"Forge's proprietary nano-coating technology and high-throughput manufacturing processes will open the door for a new stage of high performance materials. A collaboration between Forge Nano and Mitsui Kinzoku will accelerate the production of high performance materials and provide our customers high value products in various market."
-Mitsui Kinzoku-SBI Material Innovation Fund

About Mitsui Kinzoku-SBI Material Innovation Fund: Mitsui Kinzoku-SBI Material Innovation Fund was jointly established in 2017 by Mitsui Kinzoku and SBI Investment. Its investment target is start-up companies with material technologies, material manufacturing and processing know-how which are each likely to generate a business synergy effect with Mitsui Kinzoku's business.

About LG Technology Ventures: LG Technology Ventures was established in 2018 and is the venture capital investment arm of the LG Group of South Korea. The LG Technology Ventures team consists of experienced investors, entrepreneurs, technologists, and industry domain experts. Currently, LG Technology Ventures is managing over $400 million of fund assets and invests in early-stage information technology, automotive, manufacturing, life-sciences, energy, and advanced materials companies.

About Forge Nano: Based in Louisville, Colo., Forge Nano is a global leader in surface engineering and precision nano-coating technology. Forge Nano's proprietary technology and manufacturing processes make angstrom-thick coatings fast, affordable and commercially viable for a wide range of materials, applications and industries. Forge Nano's suite of ALD products and services covers the full spectrum from lab-scale to pilot and commercial-scale manufacturing systems. For more information visit www.ForgeNano.com

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

New coating paves the way for low weight lithium metal batteries

A Dynamic, Electrolyte-Blocking, and Single-Ion-Conductive Network for Stable Lithium-Metal Anodes

Zhiao Yu, David G. Mackanic, Wesley Michaels, Jian Qin, Yi Cui, Zhenan Bao
Published:August 26, 2019 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.025

Highlights

  • A multifunctional network material is proposed to stabilize lithium-metal anodes
  • Improved cyclability is achieved for high-voltage lithium-metal full battery
  • Direct lithium-metal processability enables practical application
  • Crosslinking chemistry is tuned to study the synergistic stabilizing effects

Implementation of lithium (Li)-metal anodes requires developments to solve the heterogeneity and instability issues of naturally formed solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI). The artificial SEI, as an alternative, enables an ideal interface by regulating critical features such as fast ion transport, conformal protection, and parasitic reaction mitigation. Herein, for the first time, we integrate all of these desired properties into a single matrix, the dynamic single-ion-conductive network (DSN), as a multifunctional artificial SEI. The DSN incorporates the tetrahedral Al(OR) 4 − (R = soft fluorinated linker) centers as both dynamic bonding motifs and counter anions, endowing it with flowability and Li + single-ion conductivity. Simultaneously, the fluorinated linkers provide chain mobility and electrolyte-blocking capability. A solution-processed DSN coating was found to simultaneously hinder electrolyte penetration, mitigate side reactions between Li and electrolyte, maintain low interfacial impedance, and allow homogenous Li deposition. With this coating, long cycle life and high Coulombic efficiency are achieved for Li-metal battery in a commercial carbonate electrolyte.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Picosun’s high aspect ratio ALD enables 3D thin-film batteries

ESPOO, Finland, 25th March 2019 – Picosun Group, a leading supplier of advanced ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) thin film coating technology for industrial production, reports excellent results in conformal ALD coatings for solid-state 3D thin-film batteries.

Solid-state thin-film batteries are increasingly needed in portable and wearable electronics such as smartphones, tablets, smart watches, autonomous sensors, and also in implantable medical devices. These batteries have to combine small, compact size with high energy density, which is why the next step is to move away from planar battery geometry to a three-dimensional one. In 3D thin-film batteries, nanostructured, corrugated high aspect ratio (HAR) structures multiply the active surface area and thus the battery’s charge storage capacity. 
 

Advanced manufacturing methods are called for to produce the functional layers such as electrodes and solid electrolyte inside these structures. ALD is able to create the highest quality conformal material layers inside HARs even as high as 1:3000, so it shows great potential for 3D thin-film battery manufacturing. Picosun’s high aspect ratio ALD is already utilized in various semiconductor and MEMS applications on an industrial scale, and now it has been successfully used in manufacturing solid-state 3D thin-film battery electrodes. Excellent results have been achieved already with the standard PICOSUN™ ALD reactor configuration with optimized process parameters, but for even more challenging HAR coating needs, Picosun’s patented Picoflow™ diffusion enhancing technology is ideal.

“The skyrocketing popularity of portable and wearable electronics creates a demand for compact and embeddable energy sources to power these devices. Solid-state 3D thin-film batteries are a strong candidate for this, and we at Picosun are happy to introduce our ALD solutions to the manufacturers. It is notable that even with our basic ALD we are able to create the functional layers with the highest conformality inside the batteries’ challenging HAR structures, and our approach is readily scalable to high volume industrial production. And, when these structures get even more complicated on nano-scale, our Picoflow™ technology is there to guarantee top quality deposition results with industry-proven reliability,” summarizes Mr. Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun Group.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Importance of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) in Batteries

Here is a nice article on the importance of ALD in batteries by Dr. Arrelaine Dameron, Director of research and development at Forge Nano : "The Importance of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) in Batteries" [AZ Materials, LINK]

Forge Nano just recently recieved a USD 10 million invetsment by Volkswagen for new deveopment of ALD ofr lithium batteries [LINK]. 


Forge Nano ALD plant for coating tons of battery material required by the automobile industry (Picture: ForgeNano/AZ Materials)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Volkswagen invests USD 10 M in US ALD start-up Forge Nano for battery material research

The Volkswagen Group is investing US$10 million in the start-up Forge Nano Inc with a view to reinforcing its specialist knowledge in the field of battery research. Forge Nano is investigating a material coating technology that could further improve the performance of battery materials. As a partner, Volkswagen will provide support for industrial trials of this technology. The transaction is still subject to approval by the authorities. 

(forgenano.com)

Volkswagen has been collaborating with Forge Nano on advanced battery material research since 2014. The startup with headquarters in Louisville, Colorado, is investigating processes for scaling atomic layer deposition (ALD) to create new core-shell materials, especially for battery applications. ALD is a chemical process for applying atomic scale coatings one atom at a time. With its specific ALD technology, Forge Nano aims to boost energy density of vehicle battery cells.
For example, a higher energy density would have positive effects on the range of electric vehicles. Volkswagen has been lending their automotive and battery expertise towards Forge Nano’s applied research efforts.

The Volkswagen Group is consistently forging ahead with its electric offensive and intends to offer more than 50 battery-electric models by 2025, accounting for about a fifth of its entire model portfolio. To safeguard this approach, Volkswagen is cooperating with strategic battery cell suppliers and developing its own specialist know-how in battery research. This also includes targeted venture investments. Volkswagen is increasingly investing in international start-ups to bring innovative technologies forward to production maturity together.

Dr. Axel Heinrich, Head of Volkswagen Group Research, said: “At Volkswagen, we want to be the world’s leading provider of e-mobility. We are continually expanding the battery technology know-how required for this purpose. We need to safeguard our technological competence for the future. Cooperation with start-ups is a key element in these efforts. We are acting as a partner to Forge Nano and intend to provide the team with opportunities to carry out industrial trials with its innovative technology.”

Dr. Paul Lichty, Founder and CEO of Forge Nano, said: “Our atomically precise surface engineering technology is ushering in a new era of high performance materials. We are excited to partner with a company that has such a strong commitment to commercializing innovation.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Forge Nano demonstrates superior battery performance

Forge Nano is pleased to share the exciting new data above on ALD-enabled LCO batteries. If you are working with batteries in:
  • Power Tools
  • Laptops
  • Cellphones
  • Wearables
or other LCO based systems, you owe it to yourself and your customers to contact Forge Nano and investigate their exciting advancements for your applications.

If you don’t use LCO based batteries, Forge Nano has demonstrated similar performance improvements for other battery chemistries as well.

Forge Nano’s unique precision ALD nano coating process benefits extend well beyond battery materials, virtually any powder can be upgraded using their process.
 
 
Contact us at Forge Nano for more information on how our innovative process can help you achieve your product goals

John Mahoney
jmahoney@forgenano.com
(720) 531-8293