The Ann Arbor developer of engineered silicon and 3-D volumetric displays, The Coretec Group Inc., has entered into an agreement with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) to evaluate its Cyclohexasilane (CHS), a material used in the creation of silicon anodes.
Pascale Chenevier will be leading the research, a senior scientist in nanoscience for energy at CEA, France, since 2004 who has 46 peer-reviewed papers and nine patents. She is a principal investigator on silicon nanowire-based nanomaterials for high energy density lithium-ion battery anodes and a member of the scientific board of the Grenoble chemistry research network ARCANE.
Lithium-ion batteries can be simplified to four parts: the separator, the electrolyte, the cathode, and the anode.
On one side is the cathode, the source of lithium ions. It determines the capacity and average voltage of a battery. The electrolyte is the medium through which ions are moved through the separator — which prevents contact between the cathode and anode — to the anode, which stores and releases lithium ions, allowing currents to pass through to an external circuit.
Graphite is the material typically used in the creation of anodes for lithium-ion batteries — used in various technological settings — and is one of the factors preventing the batteries from reaching the energy storage capacity required to completely meet the demands of an application such as an electric vehicle.
Silicon anodes have shown the potential to hold the capacity required for these purposes, but also has shown to degrade at a much higher rate than graphite. CEA’s focus will be on three areas:
- Optimization of silicon nanowire growth by tuning temperature, time, quantity, and metal catalysts.
- Characterization of product by infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
- Direct comparisons of silicon nanowires made with The Coretec Group’s CHS, and silicon nanowires made with diphenyl silane, specifically nanowire morphology and yield.
The research has the potential to impact silicon anodes by providing an alternative method to fabricating them with the desired size, aspect ratios, and morphology.
The CEA leads research, development, and innovation in defense and security, low carbon energies, industrial technology, and physical and life sciences. The CEA has nine centers spread throughout France. It works in partnership with many other research bodies, local authorities, and universities.
“As we further evaluate the value of our CHS in target applications, partnerships with researchers like Chevenier and institutions like CEA are critical. Chevenier’s experience and scientific acumen in the area of silicon related materials in lithium-ion batteries is exactly the right fit for us.” says Michelle Tokarz, head of partnerships for The Coretec Group.
The Coretec Group, Inc. is developing a portfolio of engineered silicon to improve energy-focused verticals, including electric vehicle and consumer batteries, solid-state lighting (LEDs), and semiconductors, as well as 3D volumetric displays and printable electronics.