Specialty Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Advanced Li-ion Battery Cathodes

R. Prada Silvy, S. Conner, Y. Tan, J. Ferguson, A.J. Manning
SouthWest NanoTechnologies, US

Keywords: carbon nanotube, lithium ion battery cathode, energy capacity, conductive network, specialty multiwalled


To realize the potential benefits of incorporating CNT materials in next generation cathodes for Li-ion batteries, we present in this paper the results of incorporating into Li-ion batteries a new generation of SWeNT’s Specialty Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes (SMWTM), specifically designed to form efficient and robust conductive networks at lower weight percent loadings than any other carbon material. Standard battery performance tests were conducted with this new CNT material and the results were compared under the same experimental conditions with typical conductive carbon material. The results show that 1 wt% SMWTM CNT can replace 6 wt% conductive carbon, resulting in improved cycle life. Other benefits include increased specific energy, improved performance in rate capability, and lower impedance in high power electrodes. These performance benefits are attributed to an optimal control of CNT structure (morphology, higher aspect ratio (L/D), fewer number of walls, lower structural defects) and high levels of purity. From these results, it is clear that SMWTM CNTs are promising materials for next generation advanced Li-ion battery cathodes.