9th January 2014
Ilika announces it has achieved a unique and simple methodology for producing a stacked solid-state cell battery that is likely to lead to significant out-licensing opportunities for the Company.
Commenting on this ground-breaking development, Graeme Purdy, CEO, stated, “Solid-state batteries are currently commercially available, but are restricted to very small capacities, limiting their commercial impact. This technical innovation enables Ilika to make larger batteries suitable for mainstream battery applications, including consumer electronics. We have received interest from OEM’s from around the globe and we are actively pursuing commercial partnerships to bring this innovation to market as quickly as possible”.
The mass-market commercialisation of solid-state batteries will be a step change in the evolution of battery technology; enabling lighter, safer batteries charging up to 6x faster and lasting 4x longer between recharges than the highest performance lithium ion incumbents. Over the last 18 months, building on its unique material discovery platform and world-class expertise in thin film material synthesis, Ilika has been developing a proprietary solid-state battery chemistry and fabrication process, facilitating the scale-up manufacture of the next generation of solid state lithium ion batteries. It has used its unique processing abilities to successfully turn a set of optimized high-performance materials into solid-state batteries with the following key advantages:
A simple fabrication process
Stackable cells (necessary for building larger capacity batteries)
Electrochemical testing of the stacked cells has started and is expected to be completed in Q1 2014. Successful test results will confirm Ilika’s proprietary solid-state battery processing, significantly enhance the value of the Company’s Intellectual Property portfolio and will be the key milestone on the full commercialisation journey of solid-state batteries.
This scalable stacked cell architecture enables the simple fabrication of cells over a wide range of sizes. Ilika intends to initially produce micro-battery prototypes designed for powering wireless sensors, which is a rapidly growing segment expected to create an addressable market for micro-batteries in excess of £1bn by 2017. The battery architecture will subsequently be scaled-up, using the same process but with faster fabrication rates, to produce prototypes suitable for the largest markets for lithium ion batteries in consumer electronics, including mobile phones, with early adoption foreseen through the defence and space sectors. The EPSRC grant announced in July provides all the required funding for the capital equipment needed for that scale-up. Ultimately, the technology could be scaled for larger format batteries for automotive and distributed energy storage applications. Ilika has already filed a portfolio of patent applications, some of which are jointly held with Toyota, to protect the considerable progress made so far, including:
A method for depositing thin film phosphates
Unique and improved synthesis methods for thin film electrolytes and electrodes
A unique method to deposit the components, enabling stacked thin film batteries
This development accelerates Ilika’s ongoing customer engagements with OEM’s in the sensor, consumer electronics and automotive sectors across three continents.