Among the components of secondary batteries, there are functional materials that do not contribute to capacity but help to develop performance and operate reliably. Examples include binders, separators, and conductive materials. A binder is an element necessary for the formation of an electrode of an active material, and it makes the active material and the conductive material adhere well to each other or the current collector, and the conductive material facilitates the movement of electrons inside the electrode. The separator prevents short circuit between the positive and negative electrodes by preventing contact between the two electrodes. These functional materials play a role in expressing the electrochemical reaction of the active material, so they are as important as the active material and the electrolyte.
Our Graduate School of Steel Energy and Materials is conducting research to design these functional materials and closely analyze their performance. We are striving to improve the performance of secondary batteries through various approaches, such as developing existing materials or grafting new materials.