Mechanical Structuring as Enabler for Increased Throughput in Lithium-Ion Cell Production

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Summary:

The reduction of manufacturing costs is a major task of battery production research and is inevitable for consumer acceptance of electromobility. One of the most prom-ising approaches for decreasing the costs is increasing the throughput by elevated coating thicknesses. However, thick electrodes suffer from a lack of performance due to the increased ionic resistance originating from the elongated lithium-ion pathways. Implementing structures such as cylindrical and cone-like geometries into electrodes is a proven approach to decrease ionic resistance. Thereby, the rate ca-pability of electrodes despite increasing the thickness is conserved. Because of their high precision and flexibility, lasers are a versatile tool for this structuring process. However, laser structuring has disadvantages such as a limited process speed and active material loss. Therefore, electrode structuring using a laser is still not imple-mented in continuous electrode production processes.
A novel concept to structure lithium-ion electrodes mechanically via an embossing roller is presented. The method has a high integration potential into roll-to-roll pro-cesses enabling low cost and high throughput production of structured electrodes. A proof of concept is demonstrated showing that structures can be implemented in lithium-ion electrodes via this novel technique. Additionally, a comparison of rate capability shows the advantage of the novel structuring process in terms of perfor-mance.

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