Li-ion battery components to be printed on an inkjet printer

Scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University are developing a technology to print the electrodes for miniature Li-ion batteries by an inkjet printer.
Scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University are developing a technology to print the electrodes for miniature Li-ion batteries by an inkjet printer. (Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University)

Scientists from Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) are developing a technology to print electrodes for miniature Li-ion batteries by an inkjet printer. The ongoing research may help to create power supplies for biosensors, wearable electronics, and other miniature devices. The results of the study are published in the journal Energy Technology.

Li-ion batteries have a high energy density and thus are often used for miniature electronics devices. But to achieve further battery size reduction, new approaches are needed to manufacture batteries. Possible solutions include methods used to manufacture integrated circuits, as well as various printing methods that have an advantage in their high performance.

According to the researchers, to print electrodes with the given characteristics, one needs to select the synthesis conditions, the composition and viscosity of the printing solution, and the printing parameters. Electrodes manufactured by inkjet printing cannot provide a sufficiently high energy density compared to electrodes produced by traditional technology. The differences are attributed to the use of various materials, as well as the parameters of the manufactured electrodes, including active layer density, the proportion of active material, etc.

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"To reduce the difference in energy density, we propose to use promising compounds based on lithium and manganese-enriched cathode material with an increased capacity," said Maxim Maximov, a researcher at the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Center of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, in a statement. "We demonstrated the possibility of electrodes manufacturing with this material by inkjet printing. We have also found that the energy intensity of the material in the printed electrode and the electrode made by traditional technology are close".

The scientists used the synthesized active cathode material to prepare a stable solution and optimized its parameters for inkjet printing. They selected the conditions for printing electrodes and conducted a study of the electrochemical properties of printed electrodes, confirming the feasibility of the proposed technological approach and the chosen composition of the cathode material.

The scientists are researching further increasing the energy density of the printed electrodes and the prototype of the Li-ion battery.

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