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Johnson Matthey plc (JM; London; www.matthey.com) has acquired the full intellectual property rights to a portfolio of silicon-alloy-based anode materials from 3M Company.
The acquisition is a further step in JM’s longterm strategy to apply its world class scientific expertise to develop a portfolio of future battery solutions for customers for automotive applications.
Anode materials are one of a number of critical components of a battery cell and current technology is based largely on carbon-based materials such as graphite. As electric vehicle uptake increases, so will demand for higher performance anodes. Customers will look to companies like JM for next generation anodes and we believe that silicon-based materials have strong potential in this space.
Access to this portfolio of intellectual property relating to silicon-based anodes enables JM to accelerate its understanding of the market and technology for battery anode materials. This will inform the scale and pace of our R&D investments in this area over the next decade.
By applying its science to the challenge of enabling vehicle electrification, JM has already developed eLNO, a portfolio of ultra-high-energy-density cathode materials, and commercialization of this technology continues at pace and on track. JM’s initial focus has been on cathode materials, which have been the limiting factor in battery performance. Adding technology for next generation battery anodes to our portfolio offers JM a complementary route to further improve battery performance. It will also provide us with a better appreciation of the interplay between cathode and anode technologies and enable us to develop optimised solutions for our customers.
Commenting on the acquisition Christian Günther, Sector Chief Executive, Battery Materials said: “We are excited to have acquired this IP for silicon alloy based anodes and our scientists will work with 3M over the next year to transfer this technology and know how to JM. Adding battery anode technology capability to our portfolio will enhance our understanding and inform our future investment decisions as we continue to apply our science to create the battery technology solutions that will deliver a cleaner, healthier world.”
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