Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

A lithium battery cathode materials includes lithium transition metal-based material selected from lithium transition metal oxides and lithium transition metal phosphates and crystalline silicon carbide residing near the grain boundaries of the material derived from lithium transition metal creating conductive pathways across the grain boundaries, the crystalline silicon carbide comprising lower than 10 wt. % of the cathode materials.

Cathode active materials are used to store and release cations within lithium batteries. These cathode active substances can comprise transition metal oxides as well as phosphates. These are employed to exchange lithium cations with an electrolyte. Transition metal oxides and phosphates with superior performances as cathode-active substances are, however, increasingly reaching their performance limits. To enable lithium batteries with more energy density, one way is to increase the thickness of the cathode. Cathodes with thicker walls are proven to enhance cell polarization as well as the underutilization of active materials. Electronic conductivity influences the first while the dispersion of lithium ions into active materials may influence the latter. Therefore, it is still essential to create cathode material that meets the requirements for the thickness of (5-50 um for electrolyte that is solid) and ultra-thick (>150 um for liquid electrolyte)cathodes in addition to allowing high energy density and high-rate capability.

Herein are disclosed ways to make a cathode that can be used in the lithium-ion battery. They include lithium transition-metal-based particles made from lithium transition metal oxides and phosphates. In addition silicon carbideparticles located at the boundaries of the grains of lithium transition metal-based particles create conductor pathways.

Every silicon carbide particle may have a length less than 100 nanometers.

The silicon carbide particles could be less than 10 wt. percent of the cathode material.

The silicon carbide particles may not be more than 1 wt. The cathode materials comprise a .

The silicon carbide particles can have an aspect ratio of 1 to 25.

Nanofiber particles are made from silicon carbide particles.

The aspect ratio of the nanofiber silicon carbide particles may range between 5 to 25 including.

The cathode material disclosed herein may have a pore volume of between 0 and 50 percent.

The cathode materials and lithium batteries are disclosed in this document. The lithium battery could be a lithium-metal battery with one or more lithium metal batteries. The lithium ion battery may comprise one or more lithium-ion cells.

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