The anode and cathode consist of active materials, conductive additives, and a binder material to glue all the components together on the current collector foil.
The current collector is usually copper for anode and aluminum for cathode. Commonly used active materials for anode are various types of graphite. Graphite is used for all applications that need high energy densities.
Nowadays the anode energy density can be slightly increased by adding small amounts of silicon compound. Instead of graphite, lithium titanate (LTO) can be used when very fast charging, long cycle life, or low-temperature charging is needed. However, energy density is lower when LTO is used as the anode active material.
Commonly used cathode active materials for high energy densities, in for example smartphones, laptops, EVs, and eStorage, are oxide materials: lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA), lithium manganese oxide (LMO) or blends of them. In the mixed oxides, the ratios of the different metals often vary, which affects the capacity, voltage, and structural stability.
A different type of cathode active material, lithium iron phosphate (LFP), can be used if a high energy density is not needed. LFP is more tolerant to abusive conditions due to its higher structural stability and it delivers a long cycle life. Possible applications for LFP are for example in eBuses.
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