Coherent starts phase 2 of high-energy rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur battery programme

Coherent starts phase 2 of high-energy rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur battery programme

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Coherent is starting the second phase of a high-energy rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery development contract with the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

The goal of the multiyear Robust Energy Sources for Intelligence Logistics In Extreme, Novel, and Challenging Environments (RESILIENCE) programme is to double the energy density of LiS cells to 450 Wh/kg and boost the lifetime by a factor of ten.

This is key for future electric vehicles and drones as well as power storage for energy utilities and microgrids, portable consumer electronics, wearable devices for health monitoring and public safety, and harvested energy storage for the commercial and industrial internet of things.

As II-VI, Coherent demonstrated LiS coin cells in Phase One using its patented immobilized chalcogen cathode technology. This enables high-energy-density sulfur cathodes to cycle at near-theoretical capacity and at high charge/discharge rates while demonstrating capacity retention across wide temperature ranges.

Coherent can also tailor its cathode performance through the addition of selenium to the cathode. Greater sulfur content maximizes energy storage, while greater selenium content maximizes power delivery and reduces charging time.

In Phase Two, the objective is to scale up the technology to large-format packaged cells with energy densities of up to 450 Wh/kg over the next 18 months and develop plans for a prototype power system using the cells to be built in phase three. This will include additional materials development, improved component assembly and mitigation of risks of failure over time.

“Battery cells from Coherent utilize proprietary highly loaded chalcogen cathodes that leverage Coherent’s carbon hosts, electrolyte chemistries, and thick-film coatings,” said Steve Rummel, Sr. Vice President, Engineered Materials and Laser Optics Business Unit at Coherent.

“Additionally, this cathode technology enables industry-leading charging and discharging rates and is free of cobalt, a designated conflict mineral. We have been developing this technology for more than a decade and are collaborating with cell manufacturers, customers, and partners in the U.S. government to ensure that we will be ready for the exciting new applications on the horizon.”


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