Competences

We are developing energy storage technologies of the future for automotive and industrial applications.

Our research expertise and research infrastructure include

  • Optimisation and characterisationof active materials,
  • Simulation of electrochemical processes,
  • Development of production processes,
  • Design of components and battery cells and
  • Production and validation of prototypes.

In all of these areas we are able to draw on our experience in the development and series production of large-format cells for electromobility.

Glovebox

Area of expertise

Anode

The anode uptakes and releases electrons from or to an external circuit during charge and discharge process, respectively. State-of-the-art lithium ion battery anodes are composed of a copper current collector foil with an active material coating based on graphite.

Beside the optimization of common Li-ion systems we work on new anode concepts for improvement in energy density with constantly high cycle life. Our aims are reached by variation and optimization of active materials, development of recipes as well as the optimization of the cell formation process.

Cathode

The cathode uptakes and releases electrons from or to an external circuit during discharge and charge process, respectively. The cathode typically composes of aluminum current collector foil with an active material coating.

The various existing cathode active materials may be differentiated in their chemical structures, their electrochemical potentials, the reaction mechanisms during charge and discharge as well as their stability within the charged (delithiated) state. In dependence of the customers requirements we accomplish the development of cathode materials with an optimum in safety, energy density and cost.

Working principleofa batterycell

ELECTROLYTE and SEPARATOR

The transport of charge carriers between anode and cathode occur via electrolyte and separator. Additionally, the separator electronically isolates the electrodes, anode and cathode, preventing short circuits.

Electrolytes comprise of either organic, inorganic or polymeric materials with high ionic conductivity. In lithium ion batteries usually organic solvents are used, containing dissolved lithium salts and additives.

Highly porous polymer films are used as separators. Those may be supported by a surface functionalization suitable for electrodes and electrolyte.

Our development goals are high ionic conductivity plus chemical and electrochemical stability over a wide temperature and potential range.

Micro porous structure of the batteries separator

DESIGN OF COMPONENTS AND BATTERY CELLS

Key factors that determine the safety, performance and costs of battery cells include the selection of the active materials and also the structure of the components and the cell design.

Targeted optimisation of the balance between anode and cathode allows an ideal combination of high energy density and long cycle life to be achieved. Other factors affecting the energy density include the sizing of the individual electrode sheets, the format of the electrode separator composite (stacked, z-folded or wound) and the materials and design of the inactive cell components, for example the housing and the current collectors.

We are able to draw on our experience from series development and expertise in the simulation of large-format cells for automotive and industrial applications to achieve the ideal design and optimisation of the battery cells.

Blown-up drawing of a battery cell