Nova Scotia-based nanotech company Meta Materials Inc. (MMAT:NASDAQ; MMAX:CSE; MMAT:FSE) has been issued another U.S. patent directed to lithium batteries.
META now has 501 active patent documents, of which 315 have issued. The company is developing two new products that it says will make lithium batteries safer and more efficient, while extending electric vehicle (EV) range and making battery supply chains more sustainable.
The patent is directed to batteries that use novel separators, including META's nanoporous ceramic NPORE® separators.
"META is at the early stage of what we expect will be a significant growth curve as its technologies are incorporated into many of today's products in a range of industries," analyst Graham Mattison of Water Tower Research wrote.
META is also applying its futuristic technology to the communications, health and wellness, aerospace, automotive, and clean energy sectors. It's attracting attention from analysts and consumers and made a splash at this year's Consumer Electronics Show with its NANOWEB® transparent EMI shielding film, which promises to clear up your microwave's window to better tell when your leftovers are ready.
"META is at the early stage of what we expect will be a significant growth curve as its technologies are incorporated into many of today's products in a range of industries," analyst Graham Mattison of Water Tower Research wrote in a March 14 research note.
"The company’s growing portfolio of technologies, along with its production capabilities, partnerships, and deep patent portfolio, give META a competitive advantage as it works to penetrate addressable markets that are collectively well in excess of US$50 billion," he wrote.
The company will exhibit its battery technologies at the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit in Orlando, Florida, next week. In addition to NPORE® nanoporous ceramic separators, it will also be showing its NCORE™ metal-polymer current collectors.
"Battery fires continue to be a common problem across all applications, from mobile devices to e-bikes and EVs," META Chief Executive Officer George Palikaras said. "Both of our new products have features that help prevent thermal runaways."
The Catalyst: 'An Ideal Solution'
The patent is directed at lithium batteries where the anode, or negative electrode, comprises a dispersion or "wet" layer of the anode materials. A second related patent is expected to be issued shortly, the company said.
"NPORE® provides outstanding heat resistance compared with conventional polymer separators, which show significant shrinkage at elevated temperatures due to the melting of the polymer," Mattison wrote. "Even when the polymers are coated with ceramic particles, the polymers remain susceptible to deformation under high-temperature conditions.
Future Market Insights Inc. said the global lithium-ion battery separator market could be worth US$3.2 billion by 2032.
Testing showed that samples outperformed those containing a commercial polymer separator, "delivering higher capacity retention through 1,000 cycles at elevated temperatures of 60 (degrees Celsius)."
"We see NPORE® as an ideal solution in ionic liquid-based lithium-ion batteries designed for high-temperature applications such as aerospace and defense, renewable energy storage, and industrial equipment such as mining and drilling tools," Mattison wrote.
Driven by the EV boom, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to reach US$135 billion by 2031, according to a report by Markets and Markets. Future Market Insights Inc. said the global lithium-ion battery separator market could be worth US$3.2 billion by 2032.
Dr. Steve Carlson, executive vice president of META, is the inventor of the new technology patented, his 54th U.S. patent. META said he was selected as the 2022 Inventor of the Year by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association.
More Applications for Nanotech
Developed first in the 1960s, design and manufacturing capabilities caught up to metamaterials in the 2000s.
META is using them to develop nanotechnology products like self-deicing and defogging car and truck headlights and windows, see-through antennas, augmented reality glasses that look like regular glasses, and special eyewear that protects pilots’ eyes from laser strikes.
Going into the CES show, META was named a 2023 Innovation Awards honoree going into the show for its NANOWEB® transparent film to clear up microwave windows.
Streetwise Ownership Overview*
Meta Materials Inc. (MMAT:NASDAQ; MMAX:CSE; MMAT:FSE)
A microwave display, with its completely clear window, drew big crowds on the conference floor. On Day 2 of the show, META was the most talked about brand at CES according to social media trend tracker BuzzRadar.
NANOWEB® is also used to de-ice auto sensors and manufacture antennas and electrochromic lenses for augmented reality and 5G reflector films.
Ownership and Share Structure
About 15% of META is held by management and insiders, according to Yahoo Finance. Among them is President and Chief Executive Officer George Palikaras, who owns 8.3% or 29.9 million shares, Reuters reported.
Yahoo said about 11% of the company is held by institutions. Some of the top holders are State Street Global Advisors (US), with 4% or 14.49 million shares, and Nova Scotia Innovation Corp., with 3.45% or 12.5 million shares, according to Reuters.
The rest, 74%, is retail.
The company has a market cap of $182.1 million, with 362.2 million shares outstanding and 307.5 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of US$2.34 and US$0.48.
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