Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Non-aqueous synthesis of titanita-bronze thin films with superfast ion transport

Technology #6372

Lithium ion batteries are a promising technology for which demand is expected to grow rapidly. In 2013 the global market revenue was $17,584M and revenues are expected to grow through 2020 to reach $76,397M with 23.3% CAGR. The use of lithium-ion batteries could be expanded to high-power systems if better energy storage materials could be created. Titania bronze possesses many of the properties that make it a good energy storage material including an open structure and fast lithium ion transport properties, but current methods of creating this material are limited. The use of hydrothermal synthesis techniques leads to creation of materials with limited purity and randomized crystal structure.

Waterless synthesis of titania bronze yields superior thin films

A non-aqueous synthesis technique allows for creation of highly pure titania bronze which can be used in lithium-ion batteries. By using pulsed-laser deposition techniques rather than the conventional hydrothermal method, single-crystalline thin film titania bronze is created on top of a template made from a new material. The crystal orientation of the template surface can be controlled to tune the performance of the titania bronze to a variety of applications. Waterless synthesis of titania bronze results in high purity materials with good crystal quality that give good lithium transport properties.

Applications

  • High rate, high capacity lithium-ion batteries
  • Photovoltaic applications (solar cells)
  • Thermoelectric energy conversion
  • Photocatalysis
  • Water splitting
  • Electrochemical devices
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Sensors

Advantages

  • Water-free
  • High purity
  • Single crystalline thin films (over existing nano-structures in powder form)
  • Well-controlled crystal orientation and surfaces (over random orientation in powders)
  • Enhanced capacity and high rate capability in lithium-ion battery performance
  • Extraordinary structural stability