Microtech 2011

Acoustic deposition of silica nano particles on polypropylene separators for lithium-ion batteries

B. Luan, D. Fu, S. Argue, M.N. Bureau, I.J. Davidson
National Research Council Canada, CA

Keywords: battery, separator, coating, SiO2

Abstract:

The separator for a lithium ion battery retains electrolyte, maintains high ion permeation, offers protection against internal electric short circuiting, and performs safe deactivation of the cell under the conditions of overcharge, abnormal heating or mechanical rupture. Most separators are made of polyolefins, predominantly polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). However, their poor thermal shrinkage and the insufficient mechanical strength have raised serious concerns when used for onboard electric vehicular applications where high current and high power output are required. Recently, coating of separators was reported to enhance the mechanical strength of separators using inorganic powders (such as clay, SiO2, Al2O3 etc.) suspended and distributed in acetone. However, this method requires ball milling to suspend and distribute the particles, which is a time-consuming and a two-step process. We report a deposition process without ball milling but rather with a simple sonication of the deposition solution. Using this new method, the powders contained in the solution can be simply used as received without any pre-treatment. The deposition of SiO2 powders takes place with a simple dipping operation.
 

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