In the last post, The Technology Path to Modern Mobile Devices, I published the first excerpt from an article “A New and Innovative 3D Architecture for Lithium Batteries.” Ashok Lahiri, Enovix co-founder and CTO, authored the article that appears in the latest issue of Applied Wireless Technology. Following is the second excerpt.
Physics and Chemistry
Mobile device technology and conventional Li-ion battery technology are rooted in two different fields of physical science—physics and chemistry, respectively. As a result, they have evolved at very different rates. Computer processing capacity, which drives most mobile device improvements, doubles about every two years in accordance with Moore’s Law. An exponential improvement is possible because processor performance is dictated by physics and determined by modern photolithographic techniques used in the fabrication of microelectronic devices from semiconductor materials.
Chemical ions transfer charge in batteries, and electrochemical reactions governed by electrode materials dictate the energy capacity. For over a century, changing chemistry has been the only way to make a significant improvement in battery performance. As the figure below illustrates, with a conventional Li-ion battery platform, all critical performance characteristics—electrode materials, design, production, and packaging—are determined by chemistry. A change in one characteristic is inextricably linked with the others, and this narrows flexibility and limits performance and safety improvement variables.
All critical performance characteristics in a conventional Li-ion battery—electrode materials, design, production, and packaging—are determined by chemistry.