The new battery uses an alloy material for the negative electrode instead of a commonly used carbon material (graphite carbon). The capacity of battery is increased by using a material with the logical discharge capacity per electrode that is several times higher than that of graphite carbon. The two companies aim to commercialize the product within a few years, targeting the use in notebook computers. The companies claim that the cut-off voltage reaches 2.0 V while the charging voltage is 4.2 V.
Si- and Sn-based materials are commonly used as the alloy material. Thus far, Sony Corp. launched Nexelion, a Li-ion rechargeable battery whose capacity has been increased by about 30% with the use of a Sn-based amorphous material for the negative electrode. Matsushita Battery has not yet revealed the composition of the alloy material used.
Matsushita Battery has employed what the company regards as a safety technology in the newly developed battery. A heat-resistant layer made of insulating metal oxide is provided on the surface of the negative electrode plate. This ensures improved safety while maintaining a current capacity as high as 3.6 Ah.