Long Time Technology Co., a company invested by Foxconn, has announced a breakthrough in battery research with Giga Solar Materials Corp., another company with Foxconn as a shareholder.
Founded in 2009, Long Time Technology has been a key graphite manufacturer in Taiwan, making anode materials. Now, using the silicon carbon materials supplied by Giga Solar Materials, Long Time Technology has successfully mixed silicon into graphite, developing a first-generation silicon carbon anode material that places it as a front runner in the market. According to Long Time Technology, the achievement has enabled a battery capacity of 420mAh/g. The company also reported a 80% capacity retention after 300 cycles. At this stage, no further details have been available regarding the development.
Silicon anodes have long been crucial to the development of next-generation battery technology. Since a battery’s capacity is determined by the amount of lithium it can store in the anode, silicon as an anode material has a theoretical capacity ten times that of graphite, a traditional anode material. However, as it takes in lithium, silicon’s volume can increase dramatically and cause the battery to swell. Compared to graphite, which expands only up to 10%, silicon can expand 300%-400% when charged.
Tesla, one of the first to introduce silicon anode material, sprinkles small amounts of silicon oxide throughout a graphite anode to tackle the issue. According to Elon Musk, silicon oxide-based solutions should be the advanced anode of choice for mainstream battery producers today, and they are expected to dominate the market over the next five to seven years.