NorcSi develops silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the standard in electric cars and mobile applications such as laptops, smartphones or drones. Electric vehicles (EV) in particular are one of the central pillars of the energy and mobility transition. The cost of today's EV is already competitive. But the low range remains a challenge. This is where we come in with our innovation. Our silicon anodes can significantly increase the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to e-mobility, where the focus is on range expansion, we see areas of use in weight-critical applications like in aviation, where every gram of weight counts. In addition to drones, this also includes mobile devices such as tablets and laptops. These can be made lighter and at the same time more powerful by batteries with increased storage capacity.
Silicon as a "New Approach"
in Battery Technology
Numerous companies and research institutes are already working on concepts for using silicon. The problem is that silicon undergoes a volume change during charging and discharging. As a consequence, the structures become brittle, the battery loses power and ultimately fails. With our technology, we can produce stable silicon nano-structures that provide enough space for volume change. This keeps the anodes and thus batteries intact. The special feature of our technology is its scalability to the industrially relevant roll-to-roll (R2R) processes that are common in cell manufacturing
The silicon is deposited on standard copper foils using well-known industrial methods, followed by a unique synthesis step which generates the special nano-structure in thermal non-equilibrium. Complex interface engineering and special adaptations to the other cell components are not required with our technology.
In our modern research lab we can manage the whole production process: from the synthesis of silicon anodes to button cell (battery) production and final characterization. The roll-to-roll facility for pilot production and demonstration of scalability to industrial formats is currently being installed. Fully automated, the silicon anode can be produced on standard carrier foils with a roll width of 180 mm.
NorcSi GmbH was founded in summer of 2020. With our location at Weinberg Campus in Halle (Saale), we have access to an excellent network of partners from science and industry. This allows us to accelerate our development. With our location in Saxony-Anhalt, we are close to the major centers of future electric car production. The battery plants currently in planning can be reached quickly from here. An ideal starting situation for positioning ourselves in the value chain. The region's decades of experience in silicon photovoltaics also benefits us here.
Dr. Marcel Neubert
Following his physics studies in 2007 at the TU Dresden, Dr. Marcel Neubert worked at Centrotherm-FHR, a leading supplier of vacuum coating systems. From 2010 to 2013, he worked as a doctoral student at the HZDR and completed his doctorate in the field of nanotechnology and nanotechnology analytics. In the past 6 years he was responsible for the development of short-time annealing processes with flash lamps (FLA) and corresponding equipment.
Since 2004, Udo Reichmann has been managing partner of ROVAK GmbH, which supplies customers in the high-tech sector for vacuum and thin-film applications. Originally founded to provide services in the field of pump repair, ROVAK GmbH is now a globally active company specializing in innovative special equipment. Mr. Reichmann thus has experience of fundamental aspects of company foundation as well as continuous growth.
Interface- und Grenzflächenentwicklung von nanostrukturierten Siliziumanoden in aufladbaren Lithium-Ionen-Batterien (SiliBat)
Das Verbundvorhaben adressiert die Entwicklung und Fertigung neuartiger Silizium-Anoden für Lithium-Ionen-Batterien. Ziel ist eine weitere Verbesserung der Fertigungsbedingungen, um die sogenannte SEI-Schicht (engl. Solid Electrolyte Interface) zu stabilisieren und damit die Batterielebensdauer zu erhöhen, die Speicherdichte durch Absenkung der Innenwiderstände zu erhöhen und das Potenzial von Siliziden als neuartiges Anodenmaterial zu erproben. Gegenstand des Vorhabens ist die abschließende Erprobung in Funktionsmustern.