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Nanocomposite Carbon/Tin Anodes for Lithium Ion Batteries

Stage: Development
An approach developed by Robert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Berkeley Lab has given rise to a new generation of nanostructured carbon-tin films that can be produced quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively. These binderless carbon/tin thin-film anodes provide enhanced charge capacity and excellent cycleability in lithium ion battery systems compared with lithium ion anodes currently on the market.

Berkeley Lab’s method uses microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition to fabricate nanostructured carbon/tin composite films in a convenient one step synthesis process. The porous 3D architecture of the carbon/tin films is mechanically stable and offers maximum electronic contact between the tin and the carbon. Nanoparticles of tin are uniformly dispersed and fully embedded in a carbon matrix. The resulting nanocomposite accommodates volumetric changes of tin upon charge-discharge processes and exhibits exceptional electrochemical durability.

These high capacity carbon/tin films can be grown directly on any type of substrate from organic precursors in a vacuum chamber. The film deposition process can be easily adapted to reel-to-reel fabrication processes that are in common use in the industry. This technology can also find applications in the fuel cell industry (e.g., carbon/platinum composites) as well as the semiconductor and coating industries.

Applications and Industries

  • Anodes for lithium ion batteries


  • High energy density
  • Thin film, binderless lithium ion anodes
  • Improved cycleability
  • Fast, clean, low cost fabrication
  • Adaptable to existing reel-to-reel manufacturing processes
  • One step co-synthesis from a single organic precursor