Ilika (AIM: IKA), the accelerated materials innovation company, provides an update on the positive progress it has achieved in the development of solid-state battery technology for use in wireless sensor network ('WSN') applications.
In January this year, Ilika announced that it had achieved a unique processing methodology to produce stacked solid-state batteries and that electrochemical testing of the solid-state batteries had validated the stacked architecture.
Ilika has now succeeded in increasing the cross-sectional area and the energy capacity of the cells by more than 25 times the energy capacity of the cells manufactured in January. These new cells have similar characteristics, albeit on a larger scale, to the smaller devices tested in January. These cells have now been deposited over an area of 64 mm2, which is a footprint suitable for WSN and wearable applications.
The next development objective is to further increase the energy stored by a stacked battery by depositing thicker cells and simultaneously increasing the number of stacked cells. Furthermore, in order to reduce manufacturing times through higher deposition rates, our scientists will require the use of the scale-up processing equipment, which is being funded by a £3.3m EPSRC grant, as described in the company's announcement of July 18th 2013.
Ilika personnel have already visited the fabricators of the scale-up equipment in Finland to verify progress against the Company's plan and preparatory work to install the on-site infrastructure required for the equipment installation is near completion. The current date for the factory acceptance test is at the beginning of September, after which the equipment will be shipped for installation and commissioning in Southampton in Q4 2014. Thus, prototype batteries are on schedule to be available for OEM evaluation in 2015.
Initial commercial discussions have progressed and Ilika has entered into confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs) with commercial partners across the globe. In total, since January, Ilika has entered into ten CDAs to facilitate ongoing discussions with OEMs and suppliers of manufacturing equipment located in Europe, USA and Japan.
Further updates will be released as planned technical and commercial milestones are reached.
Commenting on the announcement, Graeme Purdy, CEO of Ilika, said:
"The progress we have made in terms of both technology and understanding of our unique processes since January is substantial and the interest from our potential commercialisation partners is increasing significantly. Both these factors encourage us that we are on track to commercialise our stacked thin-film battery technology in 2015."