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3D Micro-Architected Materials for Batteries


Sun, Yuchun (2024) 3D Micro-Architected Materials for Batteries. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/y6bt-xb40.


Additive manufacturing (AM) enables three-dimensional micro-patterning of battery electrode materials, permitting complex structural designs beyond those of traditional slurry electrodes. We demonstrate two novel AM approaches for architecting electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries. First, we introduce a process for fabricating 3D micro-architected cathodes utilizing gel infusion additive manufacturing, and demonstrate this technique with lithium cobalt oxide (LCO). This method combines VP-based 3D printing with subsequent ion infusion and calcination processes. It starts with the printing of a blank organogel structure using a customized acrylate-based photoresin. This organogel is then converted into a hydrogel, infused with lithium and cobalt precursors, and finally subjected to calcination to form the LCO structure. This technique achieves 3D micro-architected LCO lattices with beam diameters of 45 μm, and maintains the designed architecture with tunable microstructures. By fabricating 3D micro-architected LiNi0.33Mn0.33Co0.33O2 (NMC111) through a very similar process, we demonstrate the potential for this gel infusion additive manufacturing method to engineer a variety of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in 3D.

We also develop a fabrication method to create 3D lithium anodes supported by micro-architected carbon scaffold. By pyrolyzing 3D printed polymer microlattices, mechanically robust carbon electrodes are produced. Their micro-scale features and flexible structural control make them suitable as scaffolds for lithium-metal anodes. Surface functionalization and lithium electrodeposition are explored for dense lithium nucleation and uniform epitaxial growth on the carbon framework, resulting in micro-architected lithium/carbon anodes. With the rapid development of high-resolution AM techniques in recent decades, these approaches to additively manufacture cathode and anode materials provide promising pathways to build batteries with customizable 3D designs, and pursue higher energy and power densities for different applications.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:3D battery, 3D electrode, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, architected material, battery electrode, carbon scaffold, energy storage, lithium cobalt oxide, lithium electrodeposition, lithium metal anode
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Materials Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Greer, Julia R.
Thesis Committee:
  • Faber, Katherine T. (chair)
  • See, Kimberly
  • West, William C.
  • Greer, Julia R.
Defense Date:26 March 2024
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Resnick Sustainability InstituteRESNICK.SRA
JPL President’s and Director’s Research and Development Fund1686829
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04162024-184348195
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for chapter 1.2: Additive manufacturing of 3D batteries: a perspective
Sun, Yuchun0000-0002-7028-3523
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16356
Deposited By: Yuchun Sun
Deposited On:22 Apr 2024 21:11
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 18:30

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