This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will leverage recently-published research which indicates that new types of anode nanocarbons can produce high reversible lithium (Li) storage capacity and stable cycle capability. The work will use hollow carbon nanofibers to produce Li-ion electrode performance which is close to or surpasses theoretical values (i.e., the electrical performance of LiC6). The unique morphology of these fibers, i.e., a hollow core, stacked cup, structure and open, graphitic planes, is expected to facilitate reversible Li-ion intercalation.
Over the past decade, lithium ion has developed into a mainstream battery technology with considerable commercial impact. Safe, rechargeable, inexpensive Li-ion batteries are enjoying a growing customer base in diverse markets - from consumer electronics to space vehicles. As mature as this industry is, there are still good prospects for achieving major performance improvements through the use of advanced materials. The unique morphology of the carbon nanofibers and the fact that these materials can readily be transitioned into an existing client base of Li-ion battery producers and users holds great promise for this cutting-edge research.