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How to Build a Safer, More Energy-Dense Lithium-ion Battery

Date: 05/10/2017

Company: Enovix

Source: IEEE Spectrum

Chipmaking techniques contribute to a three-dimensional battery design that outperforms today’s best cells

Hardly a month passes without shocking news of lithium-ion batteries catching fire: Laptops are torched, airlines are grounded, hoverboards go up in flames. The recent fires inside Samsung’s smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, led to a $US 5 billion recall and then to a discontinuation of the model, moves that together cut Samsung’s market capitalization by many billions.

In January, after months of speculation, Samsung announced that two separate design problems created the battery malfunctions that caused some of the devices to overheat. That different design flaws can produce the same catastrophic outcome underlines the inherently unstable nature of today’s Li-ion batteries. Any mobile product incorporating them is thus potentially unsafe.

That danger is a result of design and production decisions made a quarter century ago when this type of battery was initially commercialized. Those decisions made sense at the time, but today we can do much better, above all by taking advantage of fabrication techniques honed by the chipmaking industry. Our company, Enovix Corp., in Fremont, Calif., has done just that, and we have demonstrated that we can produce Li-ion batteries that are smaller, less expensive, and fundamentally safer than anything now on the market.

Read full story at IEEE Spectrum

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