ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), a research and development institution in Taiwan, has introduced STOBA (self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture), a new material technology that enhances the safety of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. This breakthrough in Li-ion battery safety received a “2009 R&D 100 Award in Energy Devices” last week.
Li-ion batteries, the power source for many consumer electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras, and hybrid and electric cars, are often the most unstable electronic component, as they are susceptible to overheating, which can cause fires and explosions.
In 2008, 3.1 billion Li-ion batteries were produced globally, a 10-percent growth from 2007 – which magnifies the environmental footprint and safety concerns Li-ion batteries present when used in consumer electronics. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed that product recalls involving Li-ion batteries occur every year.
In the past, safety standards for Li-ion batteries could not be raised because there was no solution available. To meet the growing demand for safer lithium batteries, ITRI successfully developed STOBA, which has fundamentally resolved the safety issue. By integrating a nano-grade polymer, which forms a protective film much like a nano-grade fuse, into the Li-ion battery a locking effect is generated when the battery encounters excessive heat, external impact or piercing and interrupts the electrical and chemical action, preventing explosions that threaten consumer safety.
See the form here.