MK Electron CEO says the company is aiming to start producing silicon anode next year at the earliest.
The South Korean material company was currently testing a silicon anode that improves on the weaknesses of exiting silicon anode, MK Electron Lee Jin told TheElec.
The anode in batteries stores and releases lithium ions released from the cathode during charging.
Existing anodes mostly use graphite but demand for anodes that add in silicon is becoming more and more popular.
An atom of silicon can store four times the number of lithium-ion compared to an atom of graphite, so mixing the two materials together can increase the energy density of batteries.
Silicon oxide, silicon nitride silicon carbide is used in silicon anodes: MK Electron is developing a material that uses silicon carbide and silicon alloy.
Silicon alloy has more electricity permittivity compared to silicon oxide while being cheaper but also has a shorter life span.
MK Electron is aiming to resolve the life pan problem by coating the material. The technology is being tested with a customer and a research lab, the CEO said.
“We still need continuous development and investment on the technology as verifying its performance is yet to be completed,” Lee said.
“But we are seeing good results in our testing and we will be ready to decide next year whether we can start production,” he added.
Meanwhile, MK Electron will continue to strengthen its production capacity for bonding wires, its main product.
Bonding wires are metal lines used in semiconductor packages to connect the silicon chip with the semiconductor lead frame so that they can send signals back and forth. Last year, bonding wire accounted for 91.27% of MK Electron’s revenue. They are manufactured in South Korea and China and the company has a production capacity of 6 million km per year, which it is aiming to expand to 10 million km per year by 2025.