"Growth of conformal graphene cages on micrometre-sized silicon particles as stable battery anodes"

Yuzhang Li: Kai Yan, Hyun-Wook Lee, Zhenda Lu, Nian Liu & Yi Cui; Nature Energy, 01/25/16.

Additional Authors: Kai Yan, Hyun-Wook Lee, Zhenda Lu, Nian Liu & Yi Cui

Abstract:

Nanostructuring has been shown to be fruitful in addressing the problems of high-capacity Si anodes. However, issues with the high cost and poor Coulombic eciencies of nanostructured Si still need to be resolved. Si microparticles are a low-cost alternative but, unlike Si nanoparticles, suer from unavoidable particle fracture during electrochemical cycling, thus making stable cycling in a real battery impractical. Here we introduce a method to encapsulate Si microparticles (∼1–3 µm) using conformally synthesized cages of multilayered graphene. The graphene cage acts as a mechanically strong and flexible buer during deep galvanostatic cycling, allowing the microparticles to expand and fracture within the cage while retaining electrical connectivity on both the particle and electrode level. Furthermore, the chemically inert graphene cage forms a stable solid electrolyte interface, minimizing irreversible consumption of lithium ions and rapidly increasing the Coulombic eciency in the early cycles. We show that even in a full-cell electrochemical test, for which the requirements of stable cycling