II-VI teams for high energy cobalt-free rechargeable lithium batteries

II-VI teams for high energy cobalt-free rechargeable lithium batteries

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

II‐VI has been awarded a multimillion-dollar development contract for high-energy rechargeable lithium batteries by the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in partnership with EaglePicher Technologies.

The contract is part of the multiyear Robust Energy Sources for Intelligence Logistics In Extreme, Novel, and Challenging Environments (RESILIENCE) programme that is developing portable power solutions for electronics and systems that operate in demanding operational environments for years. Eaglepitcher is a key supplier for batteries for space systems.

II-VI’s highly loaded chalcogen cathodes will enable high-energy rechargeable lithium batteries that greatly exceed the energy storage density of lithium batteries currently available in the market. The cathodes use proprietary carbon hosts, electrolyte chemistries, and thick-film coatings. Additionally, II-VI’s cathode technology enables industry-leading charging and discharging rates and is free of cobalt, a designated conflict mineral.

“We are excited to begin working closely with IARPA to bring to market our breakthrough battery materials technology,” said Dr. Chris Koeppen, Chief Technology Officer at II-VI which is working on a wide range of battery materials, including sulfur.

II-VI’s cathode technology can be tailored to the application by adjusting the mix of sulfur and selenium: Greater sulfur content maximizes energy storage, while greater selenium content maximizes power delivery and reduces charging time.

“We believe that this technology will have a significant impact on markets beyond aerospace and defense, in a broad range of rapidly growing applications, including the electrification of vehicles and the transportation infrastructure, clean and renewable 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,” said Koeppen.

“As a well-established and leading supplier of batteries for demanding environments in mission-critical applications, we are uniquely positioned to support this program,” said George Cintra, Chief Technology Officer, EaglePicher Technologies. “By combining II-VI’s expertise in engineered materials with our experience in volume manufacturing, we will deliver highly differentiated batteries in time to meet the rapidly growing demand in multiple markets.”

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