The World Needs Better Batteries!
Battery performance has evolved much more slowly than electronics and computers. Improvements have been made in battery technology, but they have not kept pace.
Why Is Battery Technology Evolving So Slowly?
The main reason for the slow pace in batteries is due to chemistry.
- Electronics improve by shrinking physical circuits enabling manufacturing technology to evolve rapidly.
- Batteries improve by making advances in chemistry and materials science.
Many of the chemical processes used in modern batteries have reached their limit.
The Limiting Factor
The main limiting factor of Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries is the amount of lithium that can be held in the battery’s electrodes. In conventional batteries the negative electrode or anode is made of carbon in the form of graphite. Silicon has about 10 times the storage capacity as graphite, but it has a major drawback. Silicon swells dramatically when it is charged. There have been many attempts to use silicon in batteries, but this expansion causes the silicon to fracture and the battery fails. Some companies have tried to mix silicon with graphite, but those batteries don’t have the storage capacity that could be possible with 100% silicon.
The Amprius Technologies Solution – 100% Silicon Nanowire Technology
In 2007, researchers at Stanford University discovered a solution to the problem associated with silicon in batteries. Using new techniques in nanotechnology, they were able to store lithium in tiny silicon nanowires. These nanowires are about one-thousandth the thickness of a sheet of paper. The silicon nanowires still swell when they take-up lithium, but the nanotechnology keeps the silicon from fracturing and breaking apart. The result is the world’s first 100% silicon nanowire anode for lithium-ion batteries, and Amprius Technologies was formed to bring this revolutionary battery technology to the world.
Benefits of Using Nanowires
- Nanowires tolerate volume expansion and are rooted to the substrate
- Nanowires have micro and macro porosity that accommodate swell
- Nanowires improve Solid-Electrolyte-Interphase & cycle life
- Anode thickness is reduced to half of a graphite electrode thickness
Cross Sectional Image of Amprius Technologies’ Silicon Nanowire Anode using a Scanning Electron Microscope
Advantages of Amprius Technologies 100% Silicon Nanowire Batteries
- Highest content active silicon material – Ours is 100% silicon: Because silicon is the best material for energy density, using 100% silicon in our nanowire technology means that we can provide the highest energy density batteries in the world today.
- High conductivity and connectivity: Our silicon is connected directly to the substrate with no binders. This means that there is nothing to block the flow of electricity. Our nanowire technology has the highest ratio of energy to power in the market.
- Excellent Cycle Life: Amprius Technologies 100% Silicon Nanowire Batteries have been shown to have excellent cycle life that is continuously improving. This has been demonstrated in real world use with multiple organizations including US National Labs and major aerospace companies.
Revolutionizing Battery Technology
Amprius Technologies’ 100% silicon nanowire batteries are a breakthrough technology that is revolutionizing the battery industry. With the highest energy density in the world, Amprius Technologies batteries can improve the performance of electric vehicles, aircraft, drones, and just about anything that uses a rechargeable battery.
In 2016, Amprius Technologies introduced new equipment for high volume manufacturing of Amprius Technologies 100% silicon nanowire batteries. This equipment employs inline, continuous, and roll-to-roll production methods to produce the three-dimensional silicon nanowires on a moving thin foil. Based on a multi-step Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process, this manufacturing method represents a significant advance toward high-volume production.
Amprius Technologies has developed a fully comprehensive technology platform that represents a complete battery ecosystem. Our manufacturing process includes standard battery assembly processes combined with our unique anode manufacturing. Our full platform includes cell design and product development, quality and abuse testing, anode manufacturing and high capacity cathode development, prelithiation, high voltage electrolyte formulation, and battery packaging.
Applications Currently Using Amprius Technologies Batteries
- Energy Cells for High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS)
- Cells for Conformal-Wearable Battery Packs
- Power Cells for Quadcopters
- Power Cells for Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (e-VTOL) Vehicles
Our Roadmap – The Future of Batteries
Going forward, Amprius Technologies has developed an extensive product roadmap that includes further research and development in 100% Silicon Nanowire anodes. We are also working diligently on development of silicon anode manufacturing technologies that will make it possible for more industries to take advantage of our technology. Additionally, we are working on new cathode materials that will further increase the energy density and power of our batteries. Our high performance 100% silicon nanowire batteries are currently being used in premium and mission critical applications and are expected to expand to EV and consumer applications in the near future.