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3M invests in novel silicon anode for lithium ion batteries


March 16, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

March 15, 2012 – 3M says it is investing in the research and manufacture of novel silicon (Si) -based 3M anode materials. The technology enables “advanced batteries for reliable power” that is required to keep up with the global increase of mobile societies and electric vehicles.

3M was recently granted a U.S. patent for its Silicon anode compositions that can increase cell capacity by over 40% when matched with high-energy battery cathodes. The company says it has invested resources and expertise toward commercialization of battery technology for the past 15 years.

3M’s investments into the high-energy, metal-based anode for lithium ion batteries include matching a recent U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) grant for $4.6 million as part of efforts to build more energy-efficient vehicles. The research will help to develop and integrate new cell materials that will make a “transformative change in energy density and in cost” in lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The 3M investment in R&D includes putting in 3M’s best battery materials technology for cathode, anode and battery electrolyte additives into the project.

“Our investment into research and development, coupled with our experience and portfolio of more than 40 core technologies—including nanotechnology, adhesives, precision coating, fluoromaterials—give us the tools and confidence in our ability to develop next-generation materials for better cells,” said Chris Milker, business development manager for 3M Electronic Markets Materials division.