(Infographics #10) NCA cathode

We explored NCM cathode last time. Now, we will delve into NCA cathode. The two are different in the combination and ratio of elements. We will learn more about the constituents of NCA cathode and the characteristics of the batteries with an NCA cathode through infographics.

NCA Cathode Offers High Energy Density

One of the 4 key components of lithium-ion batteries, the cathode is where lithium ions are stored and the determiner of battery capacity and voltage.

In NCA cathode, nickel, cobalt, and aluminum are added to lithium cobalt oxide (LCO). Since three elements are combined as in the NCM cathode, a battery with NCA is also called the NCA ternary battery.

* View NCM infographics

The three elements have different roles as the raw materials of the cathode. Nickel enhances energy density and cobalt raises safety. Last but not least, aluminum is related to battery output and safety.

NCA cathode contains nickel, cobalt, and aluminum at an 8:1:1 ratio. It offers higher energy density and output than NCM cathode since it has aluminum and a much higher portion of nickel. However, higher energy density could also mean instability. So, NCA cathode is mostly employed for small batteries such as cylindrical batteries.

The different combinations of NCM and NCA cathodes offer different battery performance and batteries have come to be used for various purposes. Accordingly, Korean battery makers are putting special effort into producing NCM and NCA ternary batteries.

For further improvement of the safety of the batteries, battery makers are conducting research on quaternary batteries adding one more element to the ternary batteries.