Dutch start-up LionVolt BV, a spin-off from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), has announced it has secured €4 million from the development agency of the region of Brabant (the Brabantse Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij – BOM), in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam-based venture capital and growth equity firm Prime Ventures, through a funding round.
LionVolt said it will use the funds to develop its 3D solid-state thin-film battery technology, which it expects to apply initially in wearables and electric cars.
The battery is made with a foil covered with billions of pillars with thin layers of functional material that create a 3D structure with a very large surface area and very short distances between both battery electrodes. Through this architecture, the device's lithium-ions have only a short distance to go through, and this, according to the manufacturer, reduces charging and discharging times.
LionVolt claims this approach enables the product to overcome two major hurdles to bring this technology to commercial production, which are the conformal coating of the full battery stack and the development of scalable manufacturing tools. The creation of the micropillar arrays is reportedly able to reduce the technological challenge of conformal coating, and the open and regular structure facilitates the deposition of consecutive layers.
The battery is claimed to offer higher energy density, a longer lifespan, and increased safety compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
The battery configuration is also said to be fully retrofittable into existing commercial formats and a production line can be set up in a very short time, according to the manufacturer, which said it wants to produce the new batteries in the Netherlands. “The BOM invests in LionVolt because the company has enormous potential,” said Jurgen van Eck, from the BOM. “Almost 80% of the supply chain the company needs to build a production line can be sourced locally.”
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