Notching and slitting battery electrodes

Laser notching battery electrode
Laser notching battery electrode

Laser cutting is a versatile non-contact machining process, crucial for several steps in lithium battery electrode manufacturing. Typically it is used at the slitting station to precisely divide the wide electrode coil (mother roll) into individual electrodes. Laser cutting is also used in the separation (or notching) phase to achieve the electrodes’ final desired shape.

Maintaining a clean ‘clearance width’ – the precise width of the exposed middle layer (typically aluminium or copper foil) after cutting through the multi-layered electrode material – is a critical challenge in laser cutting lithium-ion electrodes. Conventional lasers struggle with this due to their longer pulse durations, creating a larger heat-affected zone (HAZ) around the cut, potentially damaging the separator or altering electrode material properties, ultimately impacting battery performance.

Femtosecond lasers offer a significant advantage by minimising heat transfer during cutting. Ultrashort pulse (USP) durations of less than a picosecond produce cleaner cuts with minimal HAZ.

The result is improved edge quality that reduces the risk of electrical shorts and enhances the overall quality of battery modules and packs.

Thanks to a proprietary LXR® fast-burst mode, high-speed electrode cutting is achievable while maintaining excellent edge quality. This innovative technique utilises a ‘burst’ of USP pulses, delivering multiple pulses in rapid succession. This optimises cutting speed without sacrificing the quality achieved with single-pulse processing.

Laser slitting battery electrode
Laser slitting battery electrode

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LXR® series

160W ultrashort pulse laser sources

Applications laboratories

Could a laser be used to improve your manufacturing process? We can help you to find out by testing samples of your material or product in one of our applications labs. Our applications lab facilities are open to both new and existing customers and OEMs. Our laboratories are well equipped to carry out a range of processes including cutting, marking, engraving, drilling, scribing, ablation and more. We offer rapid sample turnaround times, detailed application reports, and complimentary advice from our experienced applications engineers. Whatever your process, we can help you to determine the best laser for your application.