Innovation Sphere



Project TitleSprayable 3D Current Collectors for Advanced Battery Electrodes
Track Code2014-010
Short Description
Tagsbattery, lithium ion, electrode, spray printing, current collector, energy storage
Posted DateMay 18, 2016 12:56 PM


The efficiency of energy storage cells is determined by the proportion of active components, the parts that play a role in the electrochemical reactions for storing energy, such as the electrodes, to the inactive components, or parts that enable the device functionality, such as the separator and packaging. Improving this ratio by increasing the thickness of the electrode layers augments the energy density of the cells. However, this also increases the resistance of the electrode layers, resulting in a reduction in power density. Therefore, energy storage cells have a tradeoff between high energy density and high power density. This shortcoming reveals the need for energy storage devices that exhibit increased energy density without reduced power density.


Novel electrode designs have been developed that are enabled by the inventors’ previous creation of spray fabrication methods for producing “paintable battery” energy storage devices.  Using the inventors’ spray fabrication process, current collector interlayers are connected to each other and the main current collector to form a type of 3D current collector. The spray fabrication process allows the necessary control over multi-step deposition to produce alternating layers of electrode active material and current collector material. The spray fabrication method also allows for the production of a grid-shaped current collector that would increase the motion of ions and reduce the resistance of the electrode, thereby increasing the power capacity of a thicker electrode.

Benefits and Features

  • Scalable process to produce current collectors in a variety of shapes and patterns such as grids or mesh
  • Current collectors in a grid or mesh pattern increase the through motion of ions and reduce the ohmic resistance of the electrode
  • Enables low cost high-energy and high-power batteries

Market Potential / Applications

Energy storage devices are utilized in all forms of electronic devices and are increasingly prevalent in everyday life. This novel current collector and electrode design could be invaluable in batteries for the consumer electronics industry but is also readily applicable to any type of energy storage device that relies on multilayer thin film structures.

Development and Licensing Status

Patent pending; available for licensing from Rice University. Tested at the laboratory scale.

Rice Researcher

Pulickel Ajayan is the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering at Rice University.

Technology Relevant Papers and Web Links

N. Singh, C. Galande, A. Miranda, A. Mathkar, W. Gao, A. L. M. Reddy, A. Vlad, P. M. Ajayan, “Paintable Battery”, Scientific Reports 2 (2012);

Case #


Inquiries to:

Andy Gapin,, (713) 348-6272