The Main Goals Are to Develop:

Roll-to-roll (R2R) dry extrusion coating process for cathode- polymer electrolyte composites, consisting of nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) with high nickel content as the active material, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or redox polymers as the conductive additive/binder, and polymer electrolyte, which can function also as a binder (binder solid-state polymer electrolyte, BSPE)
R2R pulsed laser deposition (PLD) process for an ultra-thin Li metal anode, combined with an inline process to deposit an inorganic solid electrolyte barrier layer on top of it
R2R slot die coating process for a cross-linkable polycarbonate polymer electrolyte (separator solid-state polymer electrolyte, SSPE), which is mechanically and electrochemically stable
Optimized interfaces for each material and layer, deposited by scalable methods, allowing improved performance and stability, and easy recycling
Digital quality control and inline characterisation tools for feedback control, combined with artificial intelligence and a digital twin for possible feedforward control, to go towards zero-defect and cost-efficient manufacturing
Technology assessment based on life-cycle thinking approach in respect to all three sustainability dimensions
Tools/methods for stakeholder engagement respecting inclusive research

Manufacturing Objectives

Develop a pilot scale dry extrusion coating process for the NMC cathode + BSPE polymer electrolyte composites
Develop scalable thin film deposition methods for the Li metal anode and the interlayers
Develop a pilot scale slot die coating process for the separator solid polymer electrolyte (SSPE) and a wet coating process for the primer on the cathode current collector
Assembly of application sized battery cells and benchmark against Gen. 2b cell production

Material Objectives

Cathode consisting of high-Ni content NMC811 particles, protected with e.g., LiTiOx ALD coating, and utilizing BSPE, CNTs and/or poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) derivative redox polymers as alternative conducting additive/binder. The redox polymers would substitute/replace CNTs with same/higher electronic conduction while not modifying cathodic potential.

Thin Li-metal anode and a protective inorganic solid electrolyte barrier
films to:

  • prevent SSPE reduction at the anode interface
  • enable handling of the Li metal anode under dry room conditions
    without degradation
  • prevent dendrite growth during cycling

Solid polycarbonate-based electrolyte:

  • )blended with the cathode material (not cross-linked to enable high conductivity)
  • coated on the cathode (cross-linked to enable high stability). Discrete
    block co-oligomer interlayers to ensure compatibility between SSPE and
    cathodes/anodes and enable easy recycling by delamination of them

Digitalization Objectives

Inline inspection with tools including high-resolution imaging by laser, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), inline optical imaging, and X-ray imaging, and their integration into the pilot lines: Develop inline inspection units to detect defects in the electrolyte, faulty particles polluting the electrode, and surface electrochemical performance issues before assembly proof of concept.

Reach zero-defect manufacturing by integrating the new inspection tools into an inline process control and optimization system:

  • Detect and classify different types of defects at the surface and electrode performance with the tools of the previous objective.
  • Build a digital twin of the (pilot) production line and develop a closed loop control and optimization to get towards a zero-defect manufacturing.
  • Install the closed-loop control to at least one of the pilot manufacturing lines.

Extend the digital twin for cost calculations and cost comparison between a Gen. 2b and a SOLiD battery cell. A cost comparison between a Gen. 2b and a SOLiD battery cell will be delivered.

Validation and Sustainability

  • Development of project specific
    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology based on life-cycle thinking including three LCA dimensions: environmental LCA, life-cycle costing, and social LCA. Recycling-by-design of materials and interfaces.
  • Increased energy density for a Li metal battery
  • Increased cycle life of Li metal batteries
  • Increased safety due to protective interfaces, validated by abuse tests