"Nonfilling Carbon Coating of Porous Silicon Micrometer-Sized Particles for High-Performance Lithium Battery Anodes"

Zhenda Lu: Nian Liu, Hyun-Wook Lee, Jie Zhao, Weiyang Li, Yuzhang Li, and Yi Cui ; ACS Nano , 03/04/15.

Additional Authors: Nian Liu, Hyun-Wook Lee, Jie Zhao, Weiyang Li, Yuzhang Li, and Yi Cui


Abstract Image

Silicon is widely recognized as one of the most promising anode materials for lithium-ion batteries due to its 10 times higher specific capacity than graphite. Unfortunately, the large volume change of Si materials during their lithiation/delithiation process results in severe pulverization, loss of electrical contact, unstable solid–electrolyte interphase (SEI), and eventual capacity fading. Although there has been tremendous progress to overcome these issues through nanoscale materials design, improved volumetric capacity and reduced cost are still needed for practical application. To address these issues, we design a nonfilling carbon-coated porous silicon microparticle (nC-pSiMP). In this structure, porous silicon microparticles (pSiMPs) consist of many interconnected primary silicon nanoparticles; only the outer surface of the pSiMPs was coated with carbon, leaving the interior pore structures unfilled. Nonfilling carbon coating hinders electrolyte penetration into the nC-pSiMPs, minimizes the electrode–electrolyte contact area, and retains the internal pore space for Si expansion. SEI formation is mostly limited to the outside of the microparticles. As a result, the composite structure demonstrates excellent cycling stability with high reversible specific capacity (∼1500 mAh g–1, 1000 cycles) at the rate of C/4. The nC-pSiMPs contain accurate void space to accommodate Si expansion while not losing packing density, which allows for a high volumetric capacity (∼1000 mAh cm–3). The areal capacity can reach over 3 mAh cm–2 with the mass loading 2.01 mg cm–2. Moreover, the production of nC-pSiMP is simple and scalable using a low-cost silicon monoxide microparticle starting material.