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SBIR Phase I: Improving Surface Properties of Stainless Steel for Li-ion Battery Current Collectors

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a surface treatment to
stainless steel that optimizes the passive (i.e. stainless) oxide layer in terms of hydrophobicity
and corrosion resistance. The goal of this optimization is to diverge from the normal use
of stainless steel where the surface is not engineered but instead expected to adapt to its
environment (i.e. autogenously passivate). The resulting passive film will be characterized
within the range of surface sensitive metrology tools. An envelope of conditions where this
film remains static relative to its environment will be enumerated. Prototype surface treated
parts will be created for the primary goal of improving the metals used as current collectors
for Li-ion batteries. These current collectors will improve corrosion resistance and therefore
cycling stability and safety of the cell, and will also allow a wider range of compatible
electrolytes than currently available. Additional applications will be evaluated in terms
of their need for high performance stainless steel surfaces once the working conditions of
this surface are fully characterized

Automated Defect Detection & Classification for Industrial Applications