Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has officially introduced a new cathode material for lithium iron phosphate rechargeable batteries. The material offers high voltage that could only be achieved by cobalt-based materials. Presently, the rare metal Cobalt is a component of cathodes in high capacity and high voltage lithium rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and home storage batteries. Since these devices are enjoying a huge demand, the cobalt is feared to become rare in the future.
It may also cause a significant increase in the cost leading to the replacement of cobalt by cheap iron which is easily available; although iron is not suitable to offer the voltage as compared to that rendered by cobalt-based materials.
Crystal structure of the new material (Image Courtesy: Fujitsu)
With the development of a new material, Fujitsu has devised a new way of improving the voltage of iron-based materials. By using a proprietary materials design technology which precisely controls the composition of raw materials and the formation process, the company has synthesized lithium iron pyrophosphate (Li5. 33Fe5.33(P207)4).
Key Features of the technology
• Fujitsu has determined new factors in improving the voltage of iron-based cathode materials by analyzing the connection between the crystal structure of a material and its electromechanical characteristics.
• Apart from synthesizing lithium iron pyrophosphate (Li5.33Fe5.33(P2O7)4), Fujitsu has created a coin-shaped prototype battery. Based on the electromechanical evaluation, it was confirmed to achieve 3.8 V of voltage.
• The charge capacity of the prototype coin battery is about 105 m Ah/g that accounts for approximately 75% of the theoretical value of 139 mAh/g (Li5.33Fe5.33(P2O7)4), or the actual value of 137 mAh/g (LiCoO2).
Voltage and discharge depth of the prototype coin battery (Image Courtesy: Fujitsu)
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About Fujitsu Laboratories
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials.
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