Japanese chemicals producer Zeon Corporation has worked with Shinshu University, Japan to develop and patent a novel tin-carbon anode for lithium-ion batteries with dramatically increased energy density.
The technology is part of a second generation of lithium-ion anodes now being adopted that enhance performance of conventional graphite anodes by adding tin and/or silicon, possibly with other elements such as cobalt too. This particular innovation has increased the available energy density benefit by reducing the weight of the carbon active component. The new material is made using carbon nanotubes prepared with the ‘supergrowth’ method used in the Zeon Tokuyama plant, and electroplating to distribute fine particles of tin inside the composite.
Zeon Corporation is part of the Furukawa Group that includes well-known brands such as Fuji Electric and Fujitsu. The company produces elastomers and other speciality chemicals, including binders for lithium-ion batteries. Development of energy materials is part of its long-term strategy.