Stanley Ventures, the newly-formed venture arm of Stanley Black & Decker, has announced a strategic investment in Prieto Battery, which is working to commercialize a 3D lithium-ion battery technology that uses non-toxic materials and offers the ability to customize shapes.
Prietoâ€™s battery is designed around a porous copper structure (copper foam), conformally coated by a polymer electrolyte and then surrounded by a cathode matrix. The result is a three-dimensionally structured battery composed of interpenetrating electrodes with extremely short Li+ diffusion distances.
Thanks to an increase in surface area of approximately 60X, Prieto expects its foam battery to have power densities as high as 14,000 W/L, and energy densities of up to 650 Wh/L. The battery will be customizable, capable of being optimized for either power density or energy density.
At the core of the product is a patent-pending technology for the fabrication of the copper antimonide (Cu2Sb) foam substrate. Using a novel electrodeposition method, Cu2Sb can be directly deposited without further annealing or other post-treatments. This technique ensures continuous electrical contact throughout the 3D anode.
The fabrication of the electrolyte layer is accomplished through an electrochemical polymerization method designed to uniformly encapsulate the entire conductive surface of the anode. The electrolyte is conformal and very thin to allow for the subsequent interpenetration into the structure by the cathode material. This layer is pinhole-free, which is critical for the overall performance of the battery.
â€œThis investment is an important step toward bringing Prietoâ€™s innovative battery technology to market,â€ said Prieto CEO and co-founder Dr. Amy Prieto. â€œSecuring strategic partnerships has been a focus for us, both as a way to capitalize our company and as a way to define the markets where our battery technology can demonstrate a competitive advantage.â€