Kick-off meeting for a ZIM project on the development of novel current collectors
Over the next two years, the Energy Materials Group of the Institute of Experimental Physics (IEP) will work together with the Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Materials Technology (ITM) of the Technische Universität Dresden and the elfolion GmbH, as project leader, on the "Development of film-like, resource-efficient fabric-based current collectors for electrodes for high energy and power density lithium-ion cells made of finest glass multifilament yarns and metal wires". On August 5, 2020, the kick-off meeting took place at elfolion in Quedlinburg. There the project partners were introduced to elfolion's patented coating technology.
The aim of the consortium is to develop, manufacture, upscale, and verify novel resource-efficient current collectors for lithium-ion cells, which enable a 15% higher energy and power density compared to conventional cells while using 85% less metal. For this purpose, leno fabrics based on finest multi and monofilament yarns made of glass, carbon, polymer, and metal are to be developed and their manufacturability on weaving machines to be modified for this purpose is to be verified. In an R2R-processing, current collector tapes are to be produced and in a second step coated with Cu and Al in a novel vacuum coating process to form starting components for cell electrodes. These current collectors enable a three-dimensional combination of the electrically conductive and the ionically conductive material components, which leads to metal savings and improved bonding of the electrode material. The electrochemical performance will be characterized in Pouch cell geometry.
The ITM will develop the ultra-light leno fabrics from ultra-fine glass and metal yarns, while elfolion will manufacture the current collectors, which will then be coated, assembled to pouch cells, and electrochemically characterized at the IEP.
“ZIM” stands for "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand” Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand”, which means “Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)”. It is a funding programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy that aims to foster the innovative capacity of SMEs. ZIM funds innovative companies with business operations in Germany which want to develop new or significantly improve existing products, processes, or technical services.