Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics

N. N.

  • KIT - Campus Süd
    Institut für Mechanische Verfahrenstechnik und Mechanik

    Arbeitsgruppe Angewandte Mechanik
    Gotthard-Franz-Straße 3, Geb. 50.31  
    76131 Karlsruhe

Research topic

The role of polymeric binders in Lithium-ion battery performance

Lithium-ion batteries (LiB) show great potential for stationary energy storage and electric mobility. The manufacturing process of the cell is decisive for the battery performance. Optimizing electrode structure and distribution of active components can improve the energy density, specific power, capacity, degradation and cycle stability of the battery.

Electrodes consist of metallic current collectors coated with electrode pastes. In addition to active material, these pastes contain carbon black as a conductivity enhancer and polymers as binder. Despite the vast amount of research activities in the field of LiB, the final contribution of the binder to the cell performance still remains elusive. It provides cohesion in the dry electrode layer as well as adhesion to the current collector. It may also be added as a thickener to control the flow and hence the processing behavior.  Finally, polymeric binders act as dispersing agents for active material or carbon black particles, thus strongly determining the component distribution in the dry electrode.

Here we systematically investigate how polymeric binders contribute to the above mentioned paste or electrode features. We vary binder type, concentration and molecular weight, as well as paste preparation conditions. Then rheological properties of the pastes, their microstructure, i.e. the resulting distribution of active material and carbon black as well as the electrochemical performance of corresponding cells including conductivity and cycle stability are thoroughly characterized. Based on these data we will suggest a binder design and paste formulation concept yielding LiB cells with improved electrochemical performance including better long term cycle life of the battery.


  1. R. Gordon, R. Orias, N. Willenbacher
    Effect of carboxymethyl cellulose on the flow behavior of lithium-ion battery anode slurries and the electrical as well as mechanical properties of corresponding dry layers.
    Journal of Materials Science, submitted
  2. R. Gordon, M. Kassar, N. Willenbacher
    Effect of polymeric binders on dispersion of active particles in aqueous LiFePO4-based cathode slurries as well as mechanical and electrical properties of corresponding dry layers.
    ACS Omega 2020, 5, 20, 11455-11465
    DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.0c00477
  3. R. Balbierer, R. Gordon, S. Schuhmann, N. Willenbacher, H. Nirschl, G. Guthausen
    Sedimentation of lithium-iron-phosphate and carbon black particles in opaque suspensions used for lithium-ion-battery electrodes.
    Journal of Materials Science 2019, 54, 5682-5694
    DOI: 10.1007/s10853-018-03253-2


  1. R. Gordon, N. Willenbacher
    Understanding the role of polymeric binders in water-based lithium-ion electrodes (Presentation)
    Electrochemical Conference on Energy & the Environment, 21.-26. July 2019, Glasgow, Scotland
  2. R. Gordon, N. Willenbacher
    Flow behavior of aqueous electrode slurries for lithium-ion batteries (Poster)
    Annual European Rheology Conference, 08.-11. April 2019, Portoroz, Slovenia
  3. R. Gordon, N. Willenbacher
    Understanding the role of polymeric binders in water-based lithium-ion electrodes (Presentation)
    Advanced Battery Power, 03.-04. April 2019, Aachen, Germany
  4. R. Gordon, J. Roland, N. Willenbacher
    Influence of binder type and concentration on performance of aqueous cathodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries (Poster)
    16th UECT (Ulm ElectroChemical Talks), 13.-14. November 2018, Ulm, Germany
  5. R. Gordon, N. Willenbacher
    Influence of active material morphology and binder concentration on microstructure and electrochemical performance of Li-ion cathodes (Poster)
    Advanced Battery Power, 10.-11. April 2018, Münster, Germany
Lehrveranstaltungen - Ronald Gordon
title type semester place
exercise 1.

Geb. 50.35 HS a. F. (Di, 14:00 - 15:30)

Geb. 11.40 Tulla HS (Do, 15:45 - 17:15)