"Engineering Empty Space between Si Nanoparticles for Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes"

Hui Wu: Guangyuan Zheng, Nian Liu, Thomas J. Carney, Yuan Yang, and Yi Cui; Nano Letters, 01/06/12.

Additional Authors: Guangyuan Zheng, Nian Liu, Thomas J. Carney, Yuan Yang, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Silicon is a promising high-capacity anode material for lithium-ion batteries yet attaining long cycle life remains a significant challenge due to pulverization of the silicon and unstable solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation during the electrochemical cycles. Despite significant advances in nanostructured Si electrodes, challenges including short cycle life and scalability hinder its widespread implementation. To address these challenges, we engineered an empty space between Si nanoparticles by encapsulating them in hollow carbon tubes. The synthesis process used low-cost Si nanoparticles and electrospinning methods, both of which can be easily scaled. The empty space around the Si nanoparticles allowed the electrode to successfully overcome these problems Our anode demonstrated a high gravimetric capacity (1000 mAh/g based on the total mass) and long cycle life (200 cycles with 90% capacity retention).