Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, Hsinchu) reports that its “ChemSEI-Linker” paste increases Li-ion batteries’ lifetime up to 70%. ITRI also says ChemSEI-Linker is a green technology because it enables easier recycling of Li-ion cells at the end of their extended lifetimes.

ITRI engineered the new paste after analyzing why the electrodes always seem to be the weak link that causes Li-ion batteries to fail in the field. The researchers say they looked at performance degradation, not the failures that result in fires or explosions as those have been traced to dendrites.
ChemSEI-Linker is claimed to inhibit natural accumulation of a solid-electrolyte interface (SEI) layer by depositing its own, nanoscale-thick SEI layer. The deposited SEI repels further buildup during recharging, much as depositing a single monolayer of oxidation on aluminum prevents more from accumulating and thereby makes the aluminum rust-free.

ChemSEI-Linker is an integrated, multifunctional combinational structure, which in situ combines organic hyperbranched polymer material with silane-type linkers, electroconductive additives, and conductive metallic-ion inorganic structural materials. The protective film forms on the surface of the active electrode materials as the electrode paste is mixed. In lab testing, ITRI researchers found that the film provided stress buffering and functional protection for the interfaces between the various components (for example, the active electrode materials, electroconductive additives, and binders) of normal electrode paste.

ITRI is not releasing all the details of the process until it has obtained a U.S. patent.
Image: ITRI