Chemicals for battery research and development

Exceptional quality and variation for consistent results and high performance.

Chemicals for current and next generation battery research 

In the rapidly evolving world of battery technology, our chemicals portfolio supports the discovery and development of newer, next-generation battery technologies as well as the improvement of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries by making them safer, more energy efficient, more environmentally friendly, and less dependent on hard-to-procure metals. For example, we have the building blocks to support your research to discover the new organic and solid-state batteries of the future.

In addition to conventional and alternative materials for the primary battery components (anode, cathode, and electrolyte), we offer metals, metal oxides, solvents, and separators that are also frequently used in battery research and manufacturing.

When your projects require you to go beyond the catalog, save time and resources by turning to Thermo Fisher Scientific. We offer custom and bulk chemicals, specialized testing, and tailored packaging solutions to meet your research and development needs..


What is the chemistry of a lithium ion battery?

When lithium stored in the anode of a working Li-ion battery is oxidized, Li+ ions are created and flow via the electrolyte through the separator film to the cathode. When the cell is later recharged, the ions flow in the opposite direction, and are reduced back to lithium metal and re-stored in the anode.

Typically, the lithium in the anode is intercalated into a graphite structure. The cathode is made of a lithium metal oxide in which the metal component may vary. Commonly used cathode materials include LiCoO2 (lithium-cobalt, also called LCO), LiMn2O4 (lithium-manganese, or LMO), LiFePO4 (lithium-phosphate, or LFP), and Li(NiMnCo)O2 (nickel manganese cobalt, or NMC). But even these alternative chemistries can vary in composition.

 

For example, NMC111 chemistries use equal parts nickel, manganese, and cobalt, but NMC622 and NMC811 chemistries use more nickel, minimizing dependence on difficult-to-procure cobalt.

 

Whether for Li-ion batteries or new technologies in development, Thermo Fisher Scientific offers an abundance of materials to support battery research and development.


Choose formulation materials for Li ion and next generation batteries

Thermo Scientific offers a broad portfolio of inorganic materials for the formulation of conventional anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes, as well as metals, solvents, separators, and binders.

 

As Li-ion and other inorganic batteries approach their theoretical capabilities and the world tries to reduce its dependence on scarce, toxic, and/ or hard-to-procure metals the promise of fully organic batteries becomes increasingly attractive.1  The Thermo Scientific chemical portfolio also includes a wide range of building blocks for organic battery systems.

 

These links contain selected chemicals used in research on the battery components listed. Alternatively, search for your battery formulation materials using the search tools below.

Anode materials 

 

Anodes are classically composed of natural or synthetic graphite, but researchers are investigating other carbon allotropes (carbon black, fullerenes) and non-carbon materials (lithium foil, oxides of bismuth, germanium, silicon, and tin) that might have better electrochemistry.

 

Organic materials may be selected for their properties such as aromaticity, resonance, or conjugation. They may also be built from radicals like TEMPO and functional groups such as carbonyls.

Cathode materials  

 

Cathode materials typically include oxides of transition metals that can accommodate lithium by changing their oxidation states. We also offer many sodium-based and other salts for research into non-lithium technologies.

 

Cathodes may be built from a variety of organic materials including cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), oxalic acid dihydrate, and ferrocene.

Electrolytes 

 

Conventional electrolytes consist of an organic solvent (such as ethylene carbonate) with a dissolved salt. Solid electrolytes have the potential to eliminate leakage and increase battery safety.

Metals

 

Pure metals and metal alloys used in batteries include aluminum, cobalt, stainless steel, and nickel in many forms, including foil, wires, powders, and rods.

Separators & binders

 

Separator materials used to control thermal conductance include polyethylene, polypropylene, and other polymers in sheets or powder form.

 

Binders are inert materials that hold a battery's active electrode particles together to maintain a strong connection between the electrode and the collector.

1Goujon N, Casado N, Nagaraj P, Marcilla R, Mecerreyes D. Organic batteries based on just redox polymers. Progress in Polymer Science. 2021; 122: 101449. Full text.


Resources for battery chemicals

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Podcast Episode

Batteries unplugged: past, present and the electrifying future

A podcast series | Conversations with the brightest chemical minds

Guest Dr. Simon Engelke, Founder and Chair of Battery Associates

Sustainable battery innovation is critical to a greener future and it’s what drives entrepreneur and innovator Simon Engelke. Linking research to industry, he gives his perspective on sustainability, geopolitics, and what’s next on a global scale.

 

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Explore technologies across Thermo Fisher Scientific for advanced battery research, manufacturing, and quality management.