Innovation Spotlight: Porous Amorphous GeOx as an Anode Material in Li-ion Batteries

November 13, 2012 01:55 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

TechConnect Innovation Tracking: Brookhaven National Laboratory, a TechConnect Accelerator participant-Santa Clara, CA, 2012

The invention relates to an amorphous hierarchical porous germanium oxide and a method of synthesizing this compound. It also relates to the use of the germanium oxide compounds in making of a high capacity electrode for Li-ion batteries. 

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory turned to highly porous particles of germanium oxide because the material can hold more charge per weight than pure germanium does, and it doesn’t swell as much. The material’s high performance stems from its small size, porosity, and amorphous structure.  The anode can charge and discharge with a very stable capacity of ~1,250 mAh/g more than 600 times.

Since presenting the innovation at TechConnect World 2012, Kimberley Elcess, Principal Licensing Specialist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, tells TechConnect news that “through continued testing, the anode charge cycle can reach up to 1000 cycles.”  She also notes that the GeOx has generated quite a bit of interest, and she has had follow up conversations with several corporations.

The innovation was born out of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, one of five nanocenters funded by the Department of Energy.  Ms. Elcess explains how GeOx was a “curiosity-driven experiment.  Our team had reason to believe if we added oxygen to germanium, this would create better stability and not reduce overall capacity.  We tried it, and it worked.”

Ms. Elcess and Brookhaven National Laboratory have participated at TechConnect World for several years.  “Making contacts is the #1 benefit of attending TechConnect for us,” she tells TechConnect News.  “ When we present our innovation, we have an instant audience of people who are really interested in the technology.”


To learn more about this Innovation, see: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133 (51), pp 20692–20695, DOI: 10.1021/ja208880f.


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