Samsung SDI develops a graphene battery

Cycle life of LIB improved with graphene by Samsung SDI

Graphene flakes have been extensively tested to make anodes in LIBs, but now Samsung SDI comes up with something better. Graphene balls (GB) can be used, not only to make the anode, but also to coat the NCM cathode making it more stable and resistant.


You can read the full article in Nature, but here is what matters the most:

“Taking the unique advantages of GB, the full-cell consisting of the GB-coated cathode and GB anode demonstrates the possibility of high volumetric energy density near 800 Wh L−1 in a commercial cell condition, together with 78.6% capacity retention after 500 cycles at 5C and 60 °C.”


What’s interesting is that this new battery has a better energy density at 60 ºC (444 Wh/kg) than at 25 ºC (370 Wh/kg), making the use of a TMS (Thermal Management System) dispensable.

Charging at 5 C, means that a battery can be charged from 0 to 80 % in slightly less than 10 minutes. Furthermore, a volumetric energy density of 800 Wh/L means that an electric car like the Renault Zoe could have a 75 kWh battery and a realistic range of 500 km.

Given that the battery capacity retention is 78,6 % after 500 cycles at 5 C and 60 °C, a 500 km range becomes 400 km after 250.000 km (500 cycles).


Now the real question is: how long will it take to see this battery technology in electric cars?


Considering that SK innovation and LG Chem are coming with high energy density and low cost NCM 811 EV battery cells already next year, is this a real effort from Samsung SDI to catch up or just something to get some media attention?


Notice that Samsung SDI is BMW’s battery cell supplier, and BMW doesn’t expect to start using NCM 811 battery cells in its electric cars before 2021, which makes me think that Samsung SDI is lagging behind and really needs to step up its game.


BMW Group Technology Workshops –E-Mobility in December 2016


Anyway, after reading the Nature’s article I’m convinced that this battery technology is mature and ready for production.


What do you think?



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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3 years ago

Press has been talking about graphen for years now, if it is actually close to be comercialised it would be fantastic!

Marcel G
3 years ago

I took a quick look at the Nature article, and although much of it was over my head, it sounds like they were focused on commercially viable manufacturing techniques, which would bode well for being able to bring it to market within a shorter time frame.

The charging durability at 60C is also very impressive, but I wonder how it performs in colder temperatures. Does the capacity drop off in a linear manner below 25C? That looks like it would lose ~25% from the 25C capacity at -10C, which is a pretty big drop off. Then again, a battery heater like the Leaf has would keep it from getting too cold.

As well, since most charging would be done at temperatures closer to 25C, and probably at less than 5C, it looks like it could keep 90%+ capacity at 250,000km.

In any case, a more exciting development, and hopefully a lot more substantial than the normal breakthrough vapourware articles.

Another Euro point of view
3 years ago

Not directly linked to the topic of this article but there were recently a few articles about large car makers (VW group, BMW) trying to secure their access to one of the components of li-ion which is cobalt. Some specialist in that field (one of them being Nick French) are saying that limited cobalt supply may slow down in the short term (say between now and 2021) the mass adoption of the electric car as it would take time to ramp up production of cobalt to level needed for EV mass adoption. Many reasons for that, cobalt being more or loss a side product of the mining of other metal (Nickel), that so far, main producer is central africa with known infrastructures issues and also that it is a very capital intensive activity and between time financing is agreed and time mining is actually effective a gap of a few years is to be expected. I don’t know what to make of this but if true we might indeed see a slower that expected ramp up of li-ion cells production even if new 811 technology uses less cobalt than older 622 technology.

Another Euro point of view
3 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Indeed, and it is probably not to be expected that EV batteries production ramps up that much faster than cobalt production from mining.

3 years ago

Hola Pedro Lima. Son tantas las promesas de baterías revolucionarias que iban a llegar al mercado que al final todas se han quedado en el cajón de los sueños. Con respecto a esta de Samsung promete mucho pero hasta que no la vea en el mercado masivo no me lo creere.

3 years ago

Fisker has submitted a patent application for a battery technology that according to their claims should be ready for large scale production in 2023 and allows to recharge the battery in one minute with 800 km of range.

3 years ago

If Cobalt is the constraint, I’m happy to trade my LEAF’s battery pack for a new NCM811 pack at no cost to Nissan 😉

3 years ago

By the way, it would be great if you posted an article about (semi-)solid-state battery tech. It seems to generate a lot of headlines these days, and one gets the impression it may be here as soon as 2020-22.

Could you explain a bit what it is, what its impact would be, and what you think about when it may arrive?

As far as I understand it is reasonably easy to convert existing LIB production lines for making solid-state, cost is much lower, density (both power and energy) much higher, and capacity loss more or less eliminated. All of which sounds like no less than a revolution. But if so, why fiddle with grapheme balls for 2021, as BMW plans to do??

Martin S.
3 years ago

Here also a very interesting article and the attached study about further battery development from 2017 to 2020 and 2025. In conclusion of Frauenhofer from the point of energy density: Pouch and 21700 are the best.
From the point of cooling prismatic cells a very good, and at the point of security also the prismatic cells,
but at the cost the pouch and the 21700 cells will be the best.
May an extra article will be nice about this study? Merry chrismas to all!

3 years ago

You need to go back to school and maybe do that at the SAIT Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology! 😀
The reason I say this is that Samsung was making Electric Cars in the Mid 90’s and they have now been working on Semi and Solid State Batteries for 9 yrs after their Samsung Renault Joint Venture the eMX ‘all electric’ car shown in 2008-2009; (unable to post links it looks like)

They are working at solving mass production problems of semi-solid state (gel filled) batteries that solves all the problems right now. Which all come with Li-on liquid filled batteries today. Like Explosions…. Fires…. and short life span. These Gel filled batteries never wear out, just like their Graphene batteries won’t either. These semi solid batteries are coming out in Galaxy 9…. so rumors are saying now.

They are also coming out with an All Electric Car (to only be sold in South Korea this year or next year). It’s designed around the Samsung Renault SM-7. This car will have extended range and life of it’s Semi-solid packed batteries. Range will be greater than anything out to date. Rumors of 350 to 375 mile range and speeds up to 120 mph for a 5 passenger luxury range vehicle. RSM the Renault Samsung Motors S-Car (name will change) prototypes are already on the road in South Korea. Where RSM Joint Venture is the #1 Electric Car Maker there!!! ……by the way Samsung (like with Corning Glass) is a major shareholder in Renault! ;-P

Here’s recent news on Samsung’s latest battery technology and these batteries will no doubt be in several European Brand Electric cars….. no doubt. Like BMW, VW, Audi, etc! …..neither Panasonic nor Toyota have anything comparable with such it’s 435 Mile range ready for production. Sorry…. to break it to you…. but Samsung R&D is Global vs everyone else being local;
(links won’t let me post them here)

Samsung owns over 35% of all Graphene Patents and since IBM (their once Top Dog Partner in ‘Common Platform Alliance’) is no longer 1st in Patents or R&D spending…. having been replaced by Samsung….. they now lead the World in Technology Patent Applications and that’s just in their SDI part of Samsung Group!

The other rumor is that Fisker is working with Samsung (since they are the only ones with all the Graphene Patents) to develop a 500 mile range battery (using Samsung Graphene Cells) that can be charged in 1 minute. But…. this is still years off. Although Samsung says they will have the production technology in place by end of next year. No doubt it’s not Samsung that needs to catch up to LG or Panasonic on Solid State Graphene Battery Technology! …..and although originally they were in a Joint Venture with LG and another battery maker (Nanotech)…. they’ve now parted ways and with Samsung SDI buying of Magna Steyr for car batteries….. no doubt the entire battery industry is going to be looking for what they bring out now!!!
(No Links…. Sorry, so your problem, not mine)

And like I said you might want to go back to school on this or at least realize that if you really HATE Samsung that much for being better at R&D in their SAIT Global University Outreach…. it’s for NO GOOD REASON!!! …..other than them being so big…. if you included everything they’re involved in from Construction (they built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – Tallest in the World), Oil and Gas, Ships, Shipyards, Batteries, Chips, Cars, Jet Engines, Hospitals, Luxury Hotel Chain, Amusement Parks, Museums, phones, home appliances, Clothing and Materials, Plastics, Mining their own Gold/Silver/etc in own mines in Sierra Leone and that’s just the short list! BIG is an Understatement!!! …..and we’re not including all their Joint Ventures like just completing the Biggest Floating Structure ever built by man in the Royal Dutch Shell ‘Prelude FLNG’ Project! 😀

John R. Shaffer
3 years ago

Hello, I am installing a 13.6kW 40 panels ground mount tiltable solar array. I sought a $10,000 Tesla PowerWall 2 battery that is not readily available. Do you have a comparable size Samsung Graphene battery to store about 13.5kW of electrical energy for use for a net zero plus house and a greenhouse 30′ x 60′? Delivered cost to zip 46962 USA? Thank you.