NREL selected Libi Materials to supply a much higher throughput plasma reactor to accelerate their research. This $1M system underwent additional modifications during the assembly stage as NREL’s lab-scale research demonstrated new breakthroughs requiring system enhancements. Libi’s proprietary system was modified to enable the introduction of doping gasses to further enhance the performance of the silicon nanoparticles (“SNPs”). The system also delivers much smaller SNPs than any known system, commensurate with NREL’s research that shows an optimal 6-7 nm particle size. We know of no other system capable of making extremely small particles in volume. NREL’s system is complete but temporarily installed and operating at an ASU fab pending completion of NREL’s new facility in Boulder, CO. Libi expects to supply SNP’s to NREL in the interim.
Earlier this year Libi and NREL signed an option agreement for Libi to acquire a license to NREL’s patented intellectual property for silicon anode materials. The option is for an exclusive license for the EV market and non-exclusive for all other battery applications.
relating to its SNP anode research, and is closely collaborating with Libi Materials to implement its process with the high throughput plasma reactor Libi has completed for NREL.
Libi has chosen to treat its equipment designs and processes as trade secrets which remain proprietary to Libi.
NREL is supportive of Libi commercializing NREL’s research to realize a 35-40% increase in energy density for the rapidly growing lithium-ion battery market. NREL has also indicated their support as Libi seeks government funding to develop our second generation plasma reactor, a system that would be replicated hundreds of times in a high volume silicon anode material factory.
with ASU through the Arizona New Economy Initiative (AMPED), and their Science and Technology Center (STC), has been critical to our research results, and we intend to strengthen the relationship as we move forward.
supported by investment from the Arizona State Legislature. STCs are responsible for leveraging ASU-industry partnerships to enable research innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech transfer in areas key to the future of Arizona’s economy. This includes creating the materials and devices needed for broad electrification of the energy sector, for example, by increasing the power density of batteries while decreasing battery size through new materials, process and manufacturing techniques to improve the future of power storage.
matching funds through the State of Arizona’s AMPED program to work with Dr. Mikellide’s group to design a second generation reactor with 5-10x the throughput of the system sold to NREL. We have also focused on key process requirements for high volume manufacturing including polymeric binders which encapsulate the SNPs, thereby further extending the cycle life and calendar life of lithium-ion batteries. Our polymer binder research has also received matching state funds and is being led by ASU’s Dr. Tim Long further leveraging the NREL developed technology providing a high energy drop-in replacement for existing anode material.