NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Rated Batteries and Fuel Cells for Surface Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Composite Conducting Polymer Cathodes For High Energy Density Lithium-Ion Batteries

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Santa Fe Science and Technology, Inc.
3216 Richards Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87507-2940
(505) 474-3500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ian D Norris
3216 Richards Lane
Santa Fe, NM  87507-2940
(505) 474-3500

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future NASA planetary exploration missions require secondary (rechargeable) batteries that can operate at extreme temperatures (-60oC to 60oC) yet deliver high specific energies (> 180 Whr/kg) and long cycle life (>2,000 cycles). Functional organic materials are a promising technology for use as the cathode in Li-Ion batteries due to their high specific energy density. It is also expected that the use of polymeric cathodes instead of lithium metal oxides will make Li-Ion batteries thinner, lighter and less environmentally hazardous. This Phase I proposal is based on demonstrating the feasibility of fully packaged Li-Ion batteries that have a superior specific energy (>200 Whr/kg) through the use of novel polymeric cathodes (composite conducting polymer/disulfide materials) when coupled with room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) electrolyte. Compared to traditional organic electrolyte systems (e.g. (e.g. lithium salts dissolved in alkyl carbonates), RTIL electrolytes have favorable electrochemical windows (> 5 V) and high ionic conductivity over a wide range of temperatures from ?60?C to 250?C and are known to prolong the lifetime of conducting polymer electrochemical devices. Besides these highly desirable characteristics for use in these novel Li-ion batteries, RTILs have inherent safety characteristics by virtue of their thermal stability, non-flammability, non-volatility and low heat of reaction with active materials.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-energy, rechargeable batteries capable of operating over a wide temperature range are of interest for a number of NASA applications. Rechargeable Li-Ion batteries offer significant advantages over nickel (Ni-Cd and NiMH) systems for use in space mission applications, including reduced weight and volume of the energy storage system. The proposed work will develop batteries with higher specific energies and extend the low temperature range of these batteries allowing their use on a wider variety of missions. Specifically these Li-Ion rechargeable batteries are can be used in many aerospace applications that include planetary landers, planetary rovers, planetary orbiters, earth orbiting spacecraft (geosynchronous earth orbit and low earth orbit) and astronaut equipment (lighting, power tools, communication devices).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The exponential growth in portable electronics such as laptop computers, digital cameras, and cellular phones has created enormous interest in the development of smaller, lighter, and safer Li-Ion rechargeable batteries. Although Li-ion batteries are the state-of-the-art power sources for a variety of portable electronic devices, during the past decade there have been numerous recalls of these batteries due to overheating problems. Li-ion batteries combine highly energetic materials in contact with a flammable and volatile electrolyte based on organic solvents. Room temperature ionic liquids electrolytes possess inherently desirable safety characteristics by virtue of their thermal stability, non-flammability and non-volatility. The non-flammability is effective in preventing these Li-Ion batteries from catching fire, while their non-volatility prevents the batteries from bursting. These inherent safety characteristics are highly beneficial for the use Li-ion batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Energy Storage
Multifunctional/Smart Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19