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Surface-Functionalized Silicon Nanoparticles for Better Lithium-ion Batteries

Company Name: Advano
Program Office: Vehicles
Location: New Orleans, LA
Email: Alexander Girau, CEO;
Award Amount: $180,000
Project Term: 9-12 months
Project Status: Active
Participating Lab(s): Argonne National Laboratory


More efficient, more powerful, longer -lived and lower-cost batteries are key to the growing market for electric vehicles. And there is great potential to increase the efficiency and energy storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries through the adoption of silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) as performance-enhancing drop-in additives.

A principal drawback to SiNPs is surface oxide passivation, which increases impedance and reduces cyclability. However, the production of SiNPs without oxygen passivation is currently prohibitive at the commercial scale, due to high costs and inadequate sourcing.

In order to fully realize the potential of surface-functionalized SiNPs as anode materials, they must be produced efficiently and economically, in a way that promotes overall performance and cost efficiencies. Advano has developed a novel surface-functionalized SiNP manufacturing technology that meets these requirements. The company now faces the challenge of ramping up its promising process to produce pilot-scale volumes, in order to demonstrate material performance in industry-related prototypes.

This SBV Pilot will allow Advano to work with the experts and facilities at Argonne National Laboratory to overcome initial obstacles regarding technology demonstration. This, in turn, will allow the company to focus on full commercialization of its battery-enhancing product.


In the long quest for a better battery, Advano's innovation is a proprietary manufacturing process that produces covalently surface-functionalized SiNPs in a single step that is facile, efficient, and highly scalable. This could unlock the widespread use of surface-functionalized SiNPs in state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, enabling cell-level capacities of less than $100 per kilowatt hour while promoting cell-level cycle targets above 1000 cycles.



If successful, this SBV Pilot will enable a sustainable technological impact — improved lithium-ion batteries — with applications from electric vehicles to consumer electronics. This will enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and energy security.


The majority of nanomaterials are produced in Asia. Sourcing these materials domestically strengthens U.S. national security. Similarly, enabling more efficient electric vehicles cuts down on the need for imported oil, which contributes to energy independence and boosts national security.


By accelerating the electrification of vehicles, this innovation will help reduce pollution and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

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