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Title: Manufacturing of Protected Lithium Electrodes for Advanced Batteries


This factsheet describes a project that developed a manufacturing technology that can produce protected lithium electrodes (PLEs) for use in lithium-air, lithium-water, and lithium-sulfur batteries.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
EERE Publication and Product Library
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office (EE-5A) (Advanced Manufacturing Office Corporate)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Country of Publication:
United States
Protected lithium electrode, solid electrolyte membrane, lithium battery, lithium-air battery, lithium-water battery, lithium-sulfur battery

Citation Formats

None. Manufacturing of Protected Lithium Electrodes for Advanced Batteries. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
None. Manufacturing of Protected Lithium Electrodes for Advanced Batteries. United States.
None. 2016. "Manufacturing of Protected Lithium Electrodes for Advanced Batteries". United States. doi:.
title = {Manufacturing of Protected Lithium Electrodes for Advanced Batteries},
author = {None},
abstractNote = {This factsheet describes a project that developed a manufacturing technology that can produce protected lithium electrodes (PLEs) for use in lithium-air, lithium-water, and lithium-sulfur batteries.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month =
  • The global demand for rechargeable batteries is large and growing rapidly. Assuming the adoption of electric vehicles continues to increase, the need for smaller, lighter, and less expensive batteries will become even more pressing. In this vein, PolyPlus Battery Company has developed ultra-light high performance batteries based on its proprietary protected lithium electrode (PLE) technology. The Company’s Lithium-Air and Lithium-Seawater batteries have already demonstrated world record performance (verified by third party testing), and we are developing advanced lithium-sulfur batteries which have the potential deliver high performance at low cost. In this program PolyPlus Battery Company teamed with Corning Incorporated tomore » transition the PLE technology from bench top fabrication using manual tooling to a pre- commercial semi-automated pilot line. At the inception of this program PolyPlus worked with a Tier 1 battery manufacturing engineering firm to design and build the first-of-its-kind pilot line for PLE production. The pilot line was shipped and installed in Berkeley, California several months after the start of the program. PolyPlus spent the next two years working with and optimizing the pilot line and now produces all of its PLEs on this line. The optimization process successfully increased the yield, throughput, and quality of PLEs produced on the pilot line. The Corning team focused on fabrication and scale-up of the ceramic membranes that are key to the PLE technology. PolyPlus next demonstrated that it could take Corning membranes through the pilot line process to produce state-of-the-art protected lithium electrodes. In the latter part of the program the Corning team developed alternative membranes targeted for the large rechargeable battery market. PolyPlus is now in discussions with several potential customers for its advanced PLE-enabled batteries, and is building relationships and infrastructure for the transition into manufacturing. It is likely that the next step will be accomplished through a combination of joint venture partnering and licensing of the technology.« less
  • BEEST Project: PolyPlus is developing the world’s first commercially available rechargeable lithium-air (Li-Air) battery. Li-Air batteries are better than the Li-Ion batteries used in most EVs today because they breathe in air from the atmosphere for use as an active material in the battery, which greatly decreases its weight. Li-Air batteries also store nearly 700% as much energy as traditional Li-Ion batteries. A lighter battery would improve the range of EVs dramatically. Polyplus is on track to making a critical breakthrough: the first manufacturable protective membrane between its lithium–based negative electrode and the reaction chamber where it reacts with oxygenmore » from the air. This gives the battery the unique ability to recharge by moving lithium in and out of the battery’s reaction chamber for storage until the battery needs to discharge once again. Until now, engineers had been unable to create the complex packaging and air-breathing components required to turn Li-Air batteries into rechargeable systems.« less
  • A lithium-metal-oxide positive electrode having a layered or spinel structure for a non-aqueous lithium electrochemical cell and battery is disclosed comprising electrode particles that are protected at the surface from undesirable effects, such as electrolyte oxidation, oxygen loss or dissolution by one or more lithium-metal-polyanionic compounds, such as a lithium-metal-phosphate or a lithium-metal-silicate material that can act as a solid electrolyte at or above the operating potential of the lithium-metal-oxide electrode. The surface protection significantly enhances the surface stability, rate capability and cycling stability of the lithium-metal-oxide electrodes, particularly when charged to high potentials.
  • Although crystalline silicon (c-Si) anodes promise very high energy densities in Li-ion batteries, their practical use is complicated by amorphization, large volume expansion and severe plastic deformation upon lithium insertion. Recent experiments have revealed the existence of a sharp interface between crystalline Si (c-Si) and the amorphous Li xSi alloy during lithiation, which propagates with a velocity that is orientation dependent; the resulting anisotropic swelling generates substantial strain concentrations that initiate cracks even in nanostructured Si. Here we describe a novel strategy to mitigate lithiation-induced fracture by using pristine c-Si structures with engineered anisometric morphologies that are deliberately designed tomore » counteract the anisotropy in the crystalline/amorphous interface velocity. This produces a much more uniform volume expansion, significantly reducing strain concentration. Based on a new, validated methodology that improves previous models of anisotropic swelling of c-Si, we propose optimal morphological designs for c-Si pillars and particles. The advantages of the new morphologies are clearly demonstrated by mesoscale simulations and verified by experiments on engineered c-Si micropillars. The results of this study illustrate that morphological design is effective in improving the fracture resistance of micron-sized Si electrodes, which will facilitate their practical application in next-generation Li-ion batteries. In conclusion, the model and design approach present in this paper also have general implications for the study and mitigation of mechanical failure of electrode materials that undergo large anisotropic volume change upon ion insertion and extraction.« less