Wildcat is a great resource for rapid cell optimization projects. Electrolyte formulations are very popular, where Wildcat combinatorially varies solvents, solvent blends, salts and additives to identify the optimal formulation. Optimization project targets are typically less ambitious than materials discovery targets, and generally focus on a specific goal like improving high temperature cycling or enhancing low temperature rate performance. One project involved the preparation and screening of over 1000 electrolyte formulations in just a few months!
Timing: Two to four months
Example: New electrolyte formulation enabling cells to be operated at increased voltage without negatively impacting high temperature cycle life.
For projects to develop new materials and IP, Wildcat scientists collaborate closely with our customer scientists to design and execute experiments aimed at the discovery of an improved or completely new material for use in batteries. The investigation of many thousands of new materials is possible, taking full advantage of the best ideas from scientists at both companies.
Timing: Six to eighteen months
Example: New or improved layered oxide cathode material for use in batteries.
In a JDA arrangement, a customer agrees to engage with Wildcat for two or more years. This long-term relationship enables Wildcat to dedicate a team to the customer, which effectively becomes an extension of the company’s R&D team. The targets of the research may involve longer term high risk/high reward topics, or could also include the rapid optimization of near term cell chemistries. It’s up to our customers. Wildcat recently announced a multi-year collaboration of this type with Asahi Kasei, a Japanese leader in lithium-ion battery separators.
Timing: Two to five years
Example: New class of cathode material delivering 2x to 3x improvement in energy, cost, cycle life or similar vs. today’s best batteries.