- R&D 100 Awards
The majority of battery failure initiates from active material surfaces in the electrodes. Surface coatings, as an effective mitigating strategy, have been widely applied into battery material manufacturing process to protect active materials. Conventional coating technologies, such as chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition and wet chemistry, typically generate non-uniform coating particularly on nano-sized particles. The thickness control becomes difficult, and the thicker coating typically induce high much impedance. To tackle this challenge, General Motors—a pioneer in applying surface coating using the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technique—has developed several Ultrathin multifunctional hybrid coatings and processes. These ultrathin (thickness < 5nm) multifunctional coatings solve critical issues involved with gas generation, manganese dissolution induced capacity loss and safety issue associated with polymeric separators. Forge Nano has developed the technologies that enable scale-up production and commercialization of this innovation for both automotive and non-automotive applications. Their semi-continuous ALD systems (the tall pilot-scale stack, as well as the large single-cycle stack), have the production capacity of more than 1 MT/day, making it possible to implement the advanced surface coating technologies into the next generation of lithium ion batteries.