Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using the precision of an electron beam to instantly adhere cathode coatings for lithium-ion batteries–a leap in efficiency that saves energy, reduces production and capital costs, and eliminates the use of toxic solvents. The technique uses an electron beam to cure coating material as it rolls down the production line, creating instantaneous cross-links between molecules that bind the coating to a foil substrate, without the need for solvents, in less than a second. "Typical curing processes can require drying machinery the length of a football field and expensive equipment for solvent recovery," said ORNL's David Wood. "This approach presents a promising avenue for fast, energy-efficient manufacturing of high-performance, low-cost lithium-ion batteries." Details of the coating technique were published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.
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