A Thin Line to Power
The challenge of getting more power into lithium-ion batteries is to develop thinner anode/cathode/electrolyte layers. As those layers continue to get thinner—right now they’re somewhere between 5 and 8 microns—bonding dozens of layers together is both essential and challenging.
As Machine Design reports this week, a direct press ultrasonic metal welder developed by Emerson engineers makes these thick-stack welds possible. By utilizing a vertical press, engineers were able, among other benefits, to bond up to 100 layers and use a lower amplitude to decrease stress without sacrificing the quality of the bond.
And Getting Thinner…
As Machine Design also noted recently, researchers have developed a new approach to creating epitaxial lithium niobate (LNO) thin films used in the manufacturing of high-frequency and wide-band RF filters adapted for 5G infrastructures. They are frequently used in applications requiring thin films that reduce optical and acoustic losses without in-plane twin growth domains.
“We created an approach that makes these films easier to produce,” said Haiyan Wang, a Purdue University materials engineer. “We developed a versatile nanocomposite-seeded approach that allows us to create single-layer films. Typically, engineers have used a double-layer approach, which adds to the complicated production process.”
The approach uses a nanocomposite buffer layer composed of LNO-Au to serve as a template for seeding the growth of untwinned LNO films. The researchers believed the inclusion of gold could reduce twin formation by “facilitating the LNO growth and nucleation and minimizing the strain-induced domain formation.”