July 9, 2017 | News Brief | Argonne National Laboratory has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Forge Nano to commercialize Argonne’s patented system and method for continuous atomic layer deposition. This license enhances Forge Nano’s ability to offer and protect key intellectual property rights for its customers across an even broader array of strategic markets.
Forge Nano’s innovative manufacturing systems are industrializing the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) process by offering a unique value proposition toward upgrading material performance for wide-ranging applications. ALD is a process that deposits a uniform and ultrathin encapsulating coating around any material. The process can used to upgrade many materials, such as powders utilized in energy storage applications (lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, ultracapacitors, etc.), as well as many non-energy applications as well. ALD allows for coating thicknesses down to Angstroms (1/100,000th the thickness of a human hair). Such control allows for the application of coatings that are thick enough to eliminate unwanted reactions that cause degradation within energy storage systems or moisture-sensitive materials, yet thin enough to not adversely affect desirable material properties. ALD coatings are by far the most compelling coating solution for eliminating capacity fade and enabling higher overall performance and safety in batteries. ALD is a process that has existed for decades with hundreds of publications demonstrating its capability as a process to improve material properties for a wide variety of applications. However, due to a lack of manufacturing innovation, it has remained a lab-scale process utilized primarily by academics. Forge Nano has developed, patented and successfully demonstrated a high-throughput process for applying ALD, which reduces the overall cost of energy storage devices while improving their performance and safety.
Forge Nano has scaled a proprietary coating technology that delivers high-value improvements to the longevity, safety and cost of Lithium-Ion batteries. Forge Nano’s coatings can increase cathode material lifetimes more than 250 percent while enabling higher capacity Nickel-rich battery chemistries. Forge Nano is also demonstrating similar gains to anode materials such as conventional graphite and emerging silicon-based materials. Forge Nano’s comprehensive IP portfolio for ALD-enabled battery materials is enabling higher energy densities, longer lifetimes, and faster charge rates, all while reducing cost for our expanding customer base. Forge Nano materials are enabling battery manufacturers to build a much better, safer battery at a lower price.
Other applications that benefit from Forge Nano’s ALD coated materials include shale gas or petrochemical catalysts, solid oxide fuel cells, non-Lithium-ion battery energy storage systems such as supercapacitors and conventional fuel cells, and many other applications that benefit from the adoption of low-cost, corrosion-resistant materials.
Forge Nano maintains the world’s largest manufacturing capacity for ALD-enabled materials, and has recently commissioned a 300 ton per year light commercial production plant, increasing its coating capacity ten-fold. This plant is capable of meeting demand volumes and price points for large-scale integration into the Li-ion market. Meanwhile the company is currently designing and constructing a 3,000 ton per year heavy commercial production plant scheduled to come online in early 2018.