Scalable, Conformal Graphene-based encapsulation for Li-ion cathode materials

D. Despinoy, J. Pistorino
United States

Keywords: graphene


Volexion is commercializing a Multi-functional, Drop-in pristine graphene-based conformal encapsulation solution, stabilizing Li-ion cathode and anode materials, and driving comprehensive performance improvement (>2x cycle life, rate capability improvement, voltage range extension, low-temperature, and high temperature/safety stability). Beyond current commercial materials, Volexion enables next generation cathode materials, driving 30%+ increase in energy density and 30%+ cost reduction, a 10-year leap forward vs. today’s state of the art. Volexion is drop-in, immediately scalable using commercial manufacturing equipment, and compatible with existing, emerging, and future battery technologies and chemistries. Developed at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory by MacArthur fellow Pr. Mark Hersam, Volexion received numerous awards, including Ten@Ten award from DoE and is experiencing significant traction from Industry partners. Volexion encapsulation is based on innovations in (1) Material: unique graphene-based multi-functional additive with demonstrated scalability and minimal environmental impact; (2) Encapsulation: conformal, nanoscale, chemically inert and electrically conductive barrier that inhibits deleterious interfacial reactions and concurrently confers chemical stability and lower cell impedance; (3) Manufacturing: Drop-in approach applicable to a broad range of commercial and emerging materials. Volexion technology provides a well-defined physical barrier between the cathode particles and electrolyte, which leads to protection against electrolyte side reactions and Mn dissolution, and prevention of local degradation hot spots on the particle surface thanks to the conformality of the graphene-based encapsulation. In addition, the improved electronic conductivity increases accessible capacity and rate capability and enable higher mass and volumetric loadings. Lastly, thanks to the intimate nature of the graphene coating, inactive materials can be reduced by 50% or more.