Ionic Materials Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Ionic Materials?
Ionic Materials is a materials technology company that has invented the world’s first practical solid electrolyte for batteries.
When was the company founded? How long has Ionic Materials been in business?
The company was founded by Mike Zimmerman Ph.D. in 2011.
Where is the company located?
The company is located in Woburn, MA.
How can I invest in the company?
Ionic Materials is a privately funded company.
Who are the members of your senior management team?
Ionic Materials is led by founder and CEO Mike Zimmerman Ph.D., a proven serial entrepreneur who has more than 30 years of polymer expertise. A Professor at Tufts University, Mike founded QLP and iQLP and was a Consulting Member of the Technical Staff (Highest Technical level) at Bell Labs for 14 years.
The company’s technology team has extensive experience in polymer science, polymer processing, electrochemistry and battery science, and they are further supported by leading experts from academia and industry.
How are you funded?
Ionic Materials is funded by prominent venture capital firms. The company was also recently awarded with a $3 million Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) grant from the Department of Energy that will begin in early 2017.
Where can I buy your technology?
Our battery technology is not yet available commercially. We plan to begin manufacturing within the next two years.
Who are your partners?
We are actively discussing potential partnerships with leading multi-national materials companies, battery manufacturers and device OEMs (EV and consumer electronics manufacturers) across the globe. If you’re interested in potentially becoming a partner, please contact us.
How is your technology different from what’s on the market today?
Current batteries are low energy, unsafe and expensive. Liquid electrolytes are holding them back because of their many problems – they are unstable when the temperature rises, are susceptible to shorts caused by dendrites and can catch fire and explode under certain circumstances. Such drawbacks require expensive safety systems to minimize risk and they prevent higher energy density electrodes and lower cost electrodes from being used due to instability with the liquid electrolyte.
Ionic Materials’ novel polymer eliminates the liquid electrolyte, creating a completely solid battery that still allows lithium ions to pass through it. The resulting system is safer, lower cost and has higher energy density.
Why haven’t solid electrolytes been used before?
Solid electrolytes are very promising for batteries, but have not been practical until now. Though the first solid ion-conductors were discovered by Michael Faraday in 1839, the barriers to adoption include the need for high temperatures to function, along with several other properties including the ability to act as an electrolyte in the cathode and to be stable against lithium metal. For the last 30-40 years, researchers have tried in vain to develop solid electrolytes for batteries. Each of the two main classes have issues: existing polymers suffer from low conductivity at room temperature while ceramics are brittle and expensive to manufacture.
Ionic Materials’ polymer is the first solid electrolyte to have high conductivity at room temperature as a result of its novel conduction mechanism and benefit from proven, high volume manufacturing techniques. Ionic Materials’ polymer also has the other important properties to function as an electrolyte: high voltage stability, ability to function as the cathode electrolyte with high active material loadings, and the necessary mechanical properties.
Why polymer? What are the benefits?
Today’s power requirements need safer, longer lasting and less expensive batteries. Ionic Materials’ core technology is inherently safe due to our solid polymer electrolyte, which also improves performance and cost.
More specifically, Ionic Materials’ novel solid electrolyte offers:
- Inherent battery safety
Liquid electrolyte and separator are top sources of all battery safety incidents
Ionic Materials replaces both with an inherently safe, non-flammable polymer
Our batteries can be folded, cut and damaged and they don’t burn and they continue to perform
Removal of liquid also results in more recyclable battery
- Lower Battery Cost
Ionic Materials enables proven, low cost manufacturing techniques
Ionic Materials enables very low cost anode and cathode chemistries, e.g. sulfur
Ionic Materials eliminates the need for costly safety systems that are required by inherently unsafe liquid based systems.
- Higher Performance Battery
Liquid electrolytes are incompatible with many next-generation anodes and cathodes.
Ionic Materials enables use of lithium metal anodes, sulfur cathodes, and more. The result is much higher energy density and performance.
- Flexible form factors
Ionic Materials’ solid polymer enables batteries that are flexible and can be configured in a myriad of form factors.