Nano-Nouvelle’s manufacturing is based on high volume, low cost methods adapted from other industries. Using water-based (aqueous) processes imparts several key advantages, as the pressures and temperatures are kept within easy to manage ranges, and the resulting nanostructured material is achieved without any handling of nanoparticles. The resulting membranes can be handled similarly to existing metal foils in assembly processes for battery cells or other applications.
The polymer substrates used in the fabrication of the LumafoilTM and Nanode™ are chosen from a wide range of commercially available membranes with nano-porous structures. Properties can be tailored to required specifications by altering the material composition, membrane thickness, porosity, surface area and pore size.
Using an aqueous process, metal is deposited in a thin layer 30-500nm thick. Many different metals can be deposited, and Nano-Nouvelle has developed copper and nickel in particular. The coating thickness can be tailored to achieve the desired conductivity, mass density and flexibility. This material can be used as a conductive membrane in itself as demonstrated in the Copper LumafoilTM, or it can provide the platform for another layer of material.
Again using an aqueous process, a layer of tin or tin alloy is applied to provide the active material for the Tin Nanode™. This layer can be customised for the type of active material, and the coating thickness, which in combination with the previous steps determines the electrode capacity and the residual porosity. This step can also be replaced by other materials for applications such as sensors, filters, catalysts, chemical processes, thermal management and photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials.
Nano-Nouvelle's products have been designed for manufacture as demonstrated first in roll-to-roll production trials of the Copper LumafoilTM, then in similar roll-to-roll trials coating graphite onto the LumafoilTM. These have shown that Copper LumafoilTM is strong enough to work in present battery manufacturing lines and is a plug-and-play replacement for solid copper current collectors in batteries. These trials established that Nano-Nouvelle's porous nano-structured technology will seamlessly transition from small scale production to pilot production, moving Nano-Nouvelle's products one step closer to commercialization.