When it comes to improving the performance and safety of batteries and energy storage technologies, most attention is given to the materials that make up the electrodes. However, the coatings applied to the electrodes are also crucial in enhancing their efficiency and stability.
Coatings offer a way for manufacturers to use existing and often cheaper materials while still achieving the desired improvements in performance and safety. They can prevent the formation of a solid electrolyte interphase layer that can degrade the performance of the electrodes over time, as well as improve the charging rates and voltage of the electrodes without compromising on safety.
Furthermore, coatings can enhance specific reactions of the electrodes, such as oxygen evolution and chlorine evolution reactions. They can also provide a protective surface against contaminants and harsh processing environments, making the electrodes more robust and stable.
While many coatings require multiple constituents, advances in nanoscale deposition methods have enabled the production of ultra-thin coatings with chemically specific elements. These nanocoatings are more tailored and tunable, providing a certain benefit without the need for multiple constituents in the coating.
While nanocoatings generally come at an increased cost, they are becoming increasingly popular for smaller electrodes. For larger electrodes, other coating methods using metals, metal oxides, mineral compounds, and stable organic materials are more commonly used.
Nanocoatings are a type of thin film coating made from nanomaterials that are deposited onto the surface of an electrode. These coatings are created using advanced nanofabrication methods and are tailored to produce a chemically specific coating that provides certain benefits to the electrode, such as increased performance and safety. Nanocoatings are ultra-thin and have excellent electronic conductivity, charge mobility properties, and stability to many harsh chemicals, high temperatures, pressures, and mechanical deformations. They do not require multiple constituents to be bonded together like some other types of coatings, and their tunable method allows for a more tailored approach to coating electrodes. While nanocoatings do come at an increased cost, they are becoming increasingly popular as a class of electrode coatings due to their unique properties and potential for improving performance and safety.
While electrode coatings may not receive as much attention as the materials that make up the electrodes, they are a crucial component in improving the efficiency and stability of batteries and energy storage technologies. Advances in nanocoatings are providing a more tailored and tunable method for achieving these improvements, while established coating methods continue to be used for larger electrodes.