High Throughput Laser Processing for Enhanced Battery Performance and Manufacturing

Research output: NRELPoster


For widespread adoption of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) need to achieve energy densities of >275 Wh/kg, cell costs less than $100/kWh, and charge to more than 80% capacity within 15 minutes. Recently, it has been shown that introducing a secondary pore network in thick battery electrodes enables higher extracted capacity without a severe reduction in charge/discharge rate performance. Secondary pore networks consisting of ordered arrays of microstructures reduce tortuosity of Li+-ion transport deep into the thick electrodes, diminishing detrimental concentration gradients within the cell. Ultrafast (femtosecond)-pulsed laser ablation is a promising method to introduce such micro pores or channels in thick battery electrodes as it allows for precise control of pattern geometries, results in minimal damage to the electrode, and can be introduced into existing roll-to-roll electrode manufacturing lines. We have explored laser patterning to create secondary pore networks in a variety of battery electrode materials for both anode and cathode applications and characterized the laser-material interaction parameters. In addition, advanced materials characterization techniques (SEM-EDS, XRD) were used to explore whether ultrafast laser ablation affects the remaining electrode materials' morphology and structure. Furthermore, we have translated lab-scale laser ablation to high-throughput roll-to-roll processing at industrially relevant scales. Finally, we worked with Argonne National Laboratory, developers of the battery cost-analysis package BatPac, to estimate the additional manufacturing costs (CapEx and OpEx) for incorporation of laser-ablation processing to current battery electrode manufacturing. We estimate that ultrafast laser processing will add only -$1kWh, which for considerable improvements in cell performance, creates a compelling case for industry adoption.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) and Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) Joint Peer Review, 16-18 May 2023, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-86150


  • battery
  • fast charge
  • high throughput
  • laser ablation
  • lithium ion
  • roll-to-roll


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