CHS Liquid Silicon & Electric Vehicle Adoption: both deliver <$100/KWh Battery

The Electric Vehicle (EV) industry’s biggest need is a more powerful battery for the industry to see the growth that is required to hit the industry goals of EV adoption. Unfortunately, traditional graphite anode’s charge capacity, cycle life, charging time, and thermal runaway are limited. Leading the charge to fix this issue is silicon anode technology. 

Silicon anodes address performance as well as manufacturing cost. A silicon nanowire (Si NW) anode thickness is a factor of 2.5 less than a corresponding graphite anode and a Si NW battery pack will have a larger battery capacity that is a 20% reduction in mass and volume.

Making considerations of the bulk price of Si NWs, we find that the cost of materials is roughly 10% less than for a similar graphite battery pack. Additional cost savings can be found with a more simplified electrode processing. Adding the benefits of a smaller mass and volume, Si NWs make a compelling alternative to graphite.

One method showing promise in large scale synthesis of Si NWs is using cyclohexasilane (CHS). Electrospinning or solution-based synthesis are both possible using CHS to deliver high purity and high yielding processes. CHS provides many advantages over incumbent silicon precursors, including ease of handling and exquisite control over the Si NW size and the ability to simultaneously create coatings.

Creating silicon nanowire anodes with cyclohexasilane has the best potential to reach cost parity with current graphite anode lithium ion batteries, while also offering the increased charge capacities needed for EV prolific adoption.