WITec GmbH has delivered a new instrument to the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) Baden-Württemberg. The Raman microscope will be used in the “Powder-Up!” pilot plant in Ulm, where cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries will be produced and the scalability of fabrication methods will be investigated.
Lithium-ion batteries are the primary enabling technology in the current shift toward electric mobility and their performance is almost exclusively determined by the materials used. ZSW is at the forefront of innovative energy storage development and is constructing a new building for the “Powder-Up!” pilot plant over the next twelve months. The new facility will focus on making improvements in the next generation of battery electrode materials, and on scaling up their manufacturing processes. This work is set to have far-reaching effects in terms of battery performance, resource use and unit costs.
According to Dr Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, head of the Accumulators Materials Research department, “Raman microscopy is becoming a standard method in applied battery research. It quickly provides detailed information about how different electrode formulations function and degrade over charge cycles.”
The “Powder-Up!” facility, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is the first of its kind in Europe. Material batches of up to 100 kg can be produced in the new plant. Such quantities are required to produce large battery cells for electric cars or stationary energy storage units.