Novel nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode technology gains patent clearance

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

A key 3M patent for lithium ion battery nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode technology has emerged from reexamination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with all original claims being confirmed as patentable and with no amendments (U.S. Patent 7,078,128).  NMC cathode technology is used in lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles.

“The value of the 3M innovation in NMC technology lies in the single phase crystal structure of the cathode materials,” said Kevin Eberman, research manager for 3M’s Battery Materials Business. “Practical high energy battery cathode materials must perform over hundreds of cycles, and 3M single phase materials show excellent charge-discharge capacity.”

The development of the novel mixed metal oxide cathode technology was pioneered by 3M in the early 1990s in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Dahn, at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

The performance of single phase crystal structure compared to layered structures is described by McCalla, Li, Rowe and Dahn in a published article in the Journal of Electrochemical Society entitled: ‘The negative impact of layered-layered composites on the electrochemistry of Li-Mn-Ni-O positive electrodes for lithium ion batteries’ where the data suggested that layered-layered nano-composites should be avoided.

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