"Highly Conductive, Mechanically Robust, and Electrochemically Inactive TiC/C Nanofiber Scaffold for High-Performance Silicon Anode Batteries"

Yan Yao: Kaifu Huo, Liangbing Hu, Nian Liu, Judy J. Cha, Matthew T. McDowell, Paul K. Chu, and Yi Cui; ACS Nano , 10/5/11.

Additional Authors: Kaifu Huo, Liangbing Hu, Nian Liu, Judy J. Cha, Matthew T. McDowell, Paul K. Chu, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Silicon has a high specific capacity of 4200 mAh/g as lithium-ion battery anodes, but its rapid capacity fading due to >300% volume expansion and pulverization presents a significant challenge for practical applications. Here we report a core–shell TiC/C/Si inactive/active nanocomposite for Si anodes demonstrating high specific capacity and excellent electrochemical cycling. The amorphous silicon layer serves as the active material to store Li+, while the inactive TiC/C nanofibers act as a conductive and mechanically robust scaffold for electron transport during the Li–Si alloying process. The core–shell TiC/C/Si nanocomposite anode shows 3000 mAh g–1 discharge capacity and 92% capacity retention after 100 charge/discharge cycles. The excellent cycling stability and high rate performance could be attributed to the tapering of the nanofibers and the open structure that allows facile Li ion transport and the high conductivity and mechanical stability of the TiC/C scaffold.