Samsung SDI develops a graphene battery

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

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

Marcel G

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… Read more »

Yes, it might require a small heater for optimal performance in very cold places.

Another Euro point of view

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… Read more »

Also for that reason the upcoming NCM 811 battery cells are very important and a complete game changer.

For example if we upgrade electric cars from current NCM 622 cells to NCM 811, we’ll use half the cobalt, while getting roughly 30 % more energy capacity at a lower cost.

Another Euro point of view

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


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.

Hola Rafael.

I understand how you feel, but Samsung SDI really needs to release something new soon to catch up with SK innovation and LG Chem, this might be it.


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.


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 😉


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… Read more »

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll consider it.

However, don’t get your hopes up. After seeing the Panasonic/Toyota press conference I got the impression that big battery makers aren’t thrilled about solid-state.

Martin S.

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!


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… Read more »

John R. Shaffer

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.