News Column

"Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles, Methods and Applications" in Patent Application Approval Process

June 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Abruna, Hector D. (Ithaca, NY); Gao, Jie (Ithaca, NY); Lowe, Michael A. (Ithaca, NY), filed on June 1, 2012, was made available online on May 22, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Cornell University.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments relate generally to metal oxide nanoparticles, methods and applications. More particularly, embodiments relate to enhanced performance metal oxide nanoparticles, methods and applications.

"Rechargeable lithium batteries have revolutionized portable electronic devices. They are also increasingly being pursued for electric and hybrid electric vehicle power supply applications. However, a major concern regarding rechargeable lithium batteries is safety, in particular when metallic lithium serves as an anode material within a rechargeable lithium battery. Such safety concerns arise from the gradual formation of lithium dendrites which may pierce a separator that separates an anode and a cathode within a cell within a rechargeable lithium battery and lead to a short circuiting of the cell.

"Given the clear commercial significance of lithium batteries, desirable are additional materials and methods that may provide for safer and more efficient lithium batteries and lithium battery components."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments include manganese oxide nanoparticles, methods for preparing the manganese oxide nanoparticles and lithium battery applications of the manganese oxide nanoparticles. The manganese oxide nanoparticles, methods for preparing the manganese oxide nanoparticles and the lithium battery applications of the manganese oxide nanoparticles may be directed towards the stoichiometric manganese oxides Mn.sub.3O.sub.4 and Mn.sub.2O.sub.3MnO, as well as non-stoichiometric manganese oxides, and also the lithiated manganese oxides Li.sub.xMn.sub.3O.sub.4 (x.gtoreq.0).

"In particular, the embodiments provide a particular manganese oxide nanoparticle having particular physical properties that result from a particular method for preparing the manganese oxide nanoparticle. The particular physical properties include a sponge like morphology (i.e., when imaged using scanning electron microscopy at a magnification of 2000) and a particle size in a range from about 65 to about 95 nanometers. The manganese oxide nanoparticle may comprise an anode material for a rechargeable lithium battery.

"The method for preparing the manganese oxide nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments is simple and involves only inexpensive and readily available raw materials with no need for special equipment. More importantly, an anode electrode for use within a lithium battery (i.e., a lithium ion battery) in accordance with the embodiments that comprises the manganese oxide nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments not only provides a high initial reversible capacity (869 mAh/g), a high stabilized reversible capacity (800 mAh/g) and a high coulomb efficiency (65%), but also demonstrates very good cycling performance. Within the context of the embodiments, 'very good' cycling performance is intended as cycling performance where at least about 90% of an initial charge value is retained after 40 battery charge and discharge cycles while using an anode electrode comprising the manganese oxide nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments.

"The embodiments also provide an anode material for rechargeable lithium batteries with improved safety performance and a more attractive operating voltage. A relithiation voltage of manganese oxide in the form of Mn.sub.3O.sub.4 (.about.0.6 V) is higher than that of typical graphitic carbon (below 0.2 V). This feature of a manganese oxide nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments essentially precludes lithium deposition. Manganese oxide in the form of Mn.sub.3O.sub.4 also possesses lower operating voltages (average potentials .about.1.3 V on delithiation, 0.6 V on lithiation) than Co.sub.3O.sub.4 (2.1 V on delithiation, 1.2 V on lithiation). Thus, when combined with a specific cathode, the full-cell operating voltage and consequently the energy density will be higher for a lithium battery that includes a manganese oxide anode in the form of Mn.sub.3O.sub.4 in comparison, for example, with a cobalt oxide anode in the form of Co.sub.3O.sub.4.

"These and other features and advantages of the embodiments will become more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description and accompanying drawings which describe the embodiments.

"A particular manganese oxide nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments includes a nanoparticle comprising a manganese oxide material and having a particle size from about 65 to about 95 nanometers.

"A particular battery component in accordance with the embodiments includes a nanoparticle comprising a manganese oxide material having a particle size from about 65 to about 95 nanometers.

"A particular battery in accordance with the embodiments includes a battery component comprising a nanoparticle comprising a manganese oxide material having a particle size from about 65 to about 95 nanometers.

"A particular method for preparing a nanoparticle in accordance with the embodiments includes calcining a manganese hydroxide material to form a manganese oxide nanoparticle material having a particle size from about 65 to about 95 nanometers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The following drawings form part of the present specification and are included to demonstrate, further, certain aspects of the present embodiments. The embodiments may be better understood by reference to one or more of these drawings in combination with the detailed description of specific embodiments presented herein below.

"FIG. 1 shows a flow chart diagram illustrating a process sequence for preparing a manganese oxide (Mn.sub.3O.sub.4) nanoparticle powder in accordance with the embodiments.

"FIG. 2 shows an x-ray diffraction spectrum of a manganese oxide (Mn.sub.3O.sub.4) powder in accordance with the embodiments.

"FIG. 3 shows a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a sample of a manganese oxide (Mn.sub.3O.sub.4) powder in accordance with the embodiments.

"FIG. 4 shows the first and second discharge/charge curves of a Mn.sub.3O.sub.4/LiPF.sub.6+EC+DEC/Li coin cell at a current rate of 0.25 C (1 C is defined as one lithium per formula in one hour, i.e. 117 mA/g for Mn.sub.3O.sub.4).

"FIG. 5 shows a graph of trend of discharge/charge capacities of a Mn.sub.3O.sub.4/LiPF.sub.6+EC+DEC/Li coin cell with cycle number at a current rate of 0.25 C.

"FIG. 6 shows a graph of trend of Coulomb efficiency of a Mn.sub.3O.sub.4/LiPF.sub.6+EC +DEC/Li coin cell with cycle number at a current rate of 0.25 C.

"FIG. 7 shows a graph of trend of discharge/charge capacities of a Mn.sub.3O.sub.4/LiPF.sub.6+EC+DEC/Li coin cell with cycle number at a current rate of 2.5 C.

"FIG. 8 shows a graph of trend of discharge/charge capacities of a Mn.sub.3O.sub.4/LiPF.sub.6+EC+DEC/Li coin cell with cycle number at a current rate of 10 C.

"FIG. 9 shows a schematic diagram of an illustrative lithium battery in accordance with the embodiments."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Abruna, Hector D.; Gao, Jie; Lowe, Michael A. Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles, Methods and Applications. Filed June 1, 2012 and posted May 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2811&p=57&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140515.PD.&OS=PD/20140515&RS=PD/20140515

Keywords for this news article include: Anions, Oxides, Manganese, Heavy Metals, Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Oxygen Compounds, Emerging Technologies.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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