3M and LG Chem have formed a patent license agreement to allow the Korean battery-maker to use 3M’s formulation of nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries.
NMC, valued for its balance of power, energy, thermal stability and low cost, has been the subject of some rivalry and at least one lawsuit. Argonne National Laboratory holds a patent for NMC that it developed with Dr. Michael Thackeray, while 3M has its own patented NMC, based on work done by Dr. Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University. LG Chem had earlier licensed Argonne’s NMC formulation.
“This license will give our battery customers confidence in LG’s technology and our long-term commitment to the battery industry,” said LG Chem VP Kyunghwa Min. “The license also opens the door to new opportunities for LG Chem as a supplier of cathode materials to the battery industry.”
LG Chem supplies its NMC-based Li-ion cells for several plug-in vehicles, including the Chevy Volt.