Sn Wears Super Skin: A New
Design for Ultra-Long Cycling
and Ultra-High Rate Batteries



The laboratory of Dr. Junjie Niu, Associate Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of WisconsinMilwaukee has developed a battery system that leverages a Titanium dioxide (TiO2) ‘skin’ and Tin (Sn) ‘kernel’ to achieve excellent Li uptake capacity, Coulombic efficiency and cyclic performance (gravimetric capacity of 727 mAh/g with a Coulombic efficiency of >99.8% after 3000 cycles at 1.0 C. A capacity of 662 mAh/g at a high rate of 5.0 C was obtained after 10,000 cycles. From the 50th to 10,000th cycle under 5.0 C, the capacity retention is >97% with a negligible decay of <0.00026% per cycle).

The Sn ‘Skin Grafting’ approach developed by the inventors is scalable and Sn/Ti are readily available, such that replacing this current anode material, which this composite is possible. The Li-Sn battery system presented here, with long duration, fast charge/discharge rate, and impressive lifespan, opens a new avenue for applications in next generation batteries.


Intellectual Property

US Provisional Patent Application filed.

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Transparency Market Research expects the lithium-ion battery market to expand at 11.6% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2024. Growth in consumer electronics and clean fuels use in the automobile market are expected to be large drivers of growth for the lithium-ion battery market. The consumer electronics market is expected to account for half of the lithium-ion battery market by 2024 due to the demand for low-power capacity lithium-ion batteries. Stratistics MRC predicts a compound annual growth rate of 18.7% by 2026 in the lithium-ion battery market driven by technological advancements, electrical vehicle, and smart device demand. They also cite government incentives for battery use as a driver of demand. The improved cyclic performance, scalable synthesis, and use of readily available materials will make this technology an attractive option in the growing lithium-ion battery market.


Sn Wears Super Skin: A New Design for Long Cycling Batteries; Shuai Kang, Xi Chen, and Junjie Niu; Nano Letters 2018 18 (1), 467-474; DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b0441

Inventor (s)

Dr. Junjie Niu is an Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department UWMilwaukee. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Physics and Chemistry at Zhejiang University. He joined Prof. Yury Gogotsi’s group at Drexel as a Postdoctoral Researcher in 2009 after serving as a faculty member at Shanghai JiaoTong University. He then joined Prof. Ju Li’s group at UPenn and then MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering & Department of Materials Science and Engineering as a Postdoctoral Researcher from 2011 to 2014. He joined UW-Milwaukee as an Assistant Professor in 2014. Dr. Niu also serves at the associate editor of Royal Society of Chemistry Advances. Dr. Niu’s interdisciplinary research includes understanding fundamental science in physics/chemistry, and engineering nanomaterials in applications of energy storage, biomaterials and chemo-mechanics.

For further information please contact:
Audrey L. Salazar, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
UWM Research Foundation
1440 East North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tel: 414-906-4657