skip to main content

Title: Improving cycle stability of Si anode through partially carbonized polydopamine coating
In this study, we report the first investigation of the effectiveness of the partially converted carbon coating from polydopamine (PODA) to improve the cycle stability of Si anode for Li-ion batteries. It is hypothesized that by converting PODA to a partial carbonization condition, the resulting coating could have a higher electrical conductivity than PODA without carbonization, and at the same time may still contain some organic bonds and thus mechanical flexibility to accommodate the volume expansion of Si during lithiation. The results show that such a partial carbonization state can be obtained by carbonization of PODA at 400 °C. Furthermore, the partially converted carbon coating can offer sufficient electrical conductivity for lithiation and delithiation of Si anode while drastically reducing the charge transfer resistance for the redox reactions. In addition, the partially-converted‑carbon coated hollow Si nanospheres exhibit excellent cycle stability when the volume expansion of Si anode is not very large (~88%) even though this volume expansion is significantly larger than the engineered void space (47%of the Si volume) available inside the partially-converted‑carbon coated hollow Si nanospheres, unambiguously confirming the good tolerance of the partially converted carbon coating in withstanding some tensile strain without fracture. This study offers a new more » direction for systematic studies in the future as a means to provide a coating on Si material with sufficient electrical conductivity along with capability to withstand some tensile strain during the volume expansion of Si, thereby improving the cycle stability of Si anodes. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1918991 1660572
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10253018
Journal Name:
Journal of electroanalytical chemistry
Volume:
876
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
114738
ISSN:
1572-6657
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Applications of silicon as a high-performance anode material has been impeded by its low intrinsic conductivity and huge volume expansion (> 300%) during lithiation. To address these problems, nano-Si particles along with conductive coatings and engineered voids are often employed, but this results in high cost anodes. Here, we report a scalable synthesis method that can realize high specific capacity (~800 mAh g-1), ultrafast charge/discharge (at 8 A g-1 Si) and high initial Coulombic efficiency (~90%) with long cycle life (1000 cycles) at the same time. To achieve 1000 cycle stability, micron-sized Si particles are subjected to high-energy ball millingmore »to create nanostructured Si building blocks with nano-channel shaped voids encapsulated inside a nitrogen (N)-doped carbon shell (termed as Si micro-reactor). The nano-channel voids inside a Si micro-reactor not only offer the space to accommodate the volume expansion of Si, but also provide fast pathways for Li ion diffusion into the center of the nanostructured Si core and thus ultrafast charge/discharge capability. The porous N-doped carbon shell helps to improve the conductivity while allowing fast Li ion transport and confining the volume expansion within the Si micro-reactor. Submicron-sized Si micro-reactors with limited specific surface area (35 m2 g-1) afford sufficient electrode/electrolyte interfacial area for fast lithiation/delithiation, leading to the specific capacity ranging from ~800 to 420 mAh g-1 under ultrafast charging conditions (8 A g-1), but not too much interfacial area for surface side reactions and thus high initial coulombic efficiency (~90%). Since Si micro-reactors with superior electrochemical properties are synthesized via an industrially scalable and eco-friendly method, they have the potential for practical applications in the future.« less
  2. Abstract

    Silicon is regarded as one of the most promising anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Its high theoretical capacity (4000 mAh/g) has the potential to meet the demands of high-energy density applications, such as electric air and ground vehicles. The volume expansion of Si during lithiation is over 300%, indicating its promise as a large strain electrochemical actuator. A Si-anode battery is multifunctional, storing electrical energy and actuating through volume change by lithium-ion insertion.

    To utilize the property of large volume expansion, we design, fabricate, and test two types of Si anode cantilevers with bi-directional actuation: (a) bimorph actuator andmore »(b) insulated double unimorph actuator. A transparent battery chamber is fabricated, provided with NCM cathodes, and filled with electrolyte. The relationship between state of charge and electrode deformation is measured using current integration and high-resolution photogrammetry, respectively. The electrochemical performance, including voltage versus capacity and Coulombic efficiency versus cycle number, is measured for several charge/discharge cycles. Both configurations exhibit deflections in two directions and can store energy. In case (a), the largest deflection is roughly 35% of the cantilever length. Twisting and unexpected bending deflections are observed in this case, possibly due to back-side lithiation, non-uniform coating thickness, and uneven lithium distribution. In case (b), the single silicon active coating layer can deflect 12 passive layers.

    « less
  3. Enhancing battery energy storage capability and reducing the cost per average energy capacity is urgent to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society. The lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1), low cost, and low toxicity.1 Despite these advantages, the practical utilization of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries to date has been hindered by a series of obstacles, including low active material loading, shuttle effects, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics.2 The traditional 2D planer thick electrode is considered as a general approach to enhance the mass loading of the Li-Smore »battery.3 However, the longer diffusion length of lithium ions, which resulted in high tortuosity in the compact stacking thick electrode, decreases the penetration ability of the electrolyte into the entire cathode.4 Although an effort to induce catalysts in the cathode was made to promote sulfur conversion kinetic conditions, catalysts based on transition metals suffered from the low electronic conductivity, and some elements (i.e.: Co, Mn) may even absorb and restrict polysulfides for further reaction. 5 To mitigate the issues listed above, herein we propose a novel sulfur cathode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD). 6,7 Specifically, the cathode is designed to have a hierarchal hollow structure via a stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. Microchannels are constructed on the tailored sulfur cathode to further fortify the wettability of the electrolyte. The as-printed cathode is then sintered at 700 °C in an N2 atmosphere in order to generate a carbon skeleton (i.e.: carbonization of resin) with intrinsic carbon defects. The intrinsic carbon defects are expected to create favorable sulfur conversion conditions with sufficient electronic conductivity. In this study, the oCVD technique is leveraged to produce a conformal coating layer to eliminate shuttle effects. Identified by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping characterizations, the oCVD PEDOT is not only covered on the surface of the cathode but also on the inner surface of the microchannels. High-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses (C 1s and S 2p orbitals) between pristine and modified samples demonstrate that a high concentration of the defects has been produced on the sulfur matrix after sintering and posttreatment. In-operando XRD diffractograms show that the Li2S is generated in the oCVD PEDOT-coated sample during the charge and discharge process even with a high current density, confirming an eminent sulfur conversion kinetic condition. In addition, ICP-OES results of lithium metal anode at different states of charge (SoC) verify that the shuttle effects are excellently restricted by oCVD PEDOT. Overall, the high mass loading (> 5 mg cm-2) with an elevated sulfur utilization ratio, accelerated reaction kinetics and stabilized electrochemical process have been achieved on the sulfur cathode by implementing this innovative cathode design strategy. The results of this study demonstrate significant promises of employing pure sulfur powder with high electrochemical performance and suggest a pathway to the higher energy and power density battery. References: 1 Chen, Y. Adv Mater 33, e2003666. 2 Bhargav, A. Joule 4, 285-291. 3 Liu, S. Nano Energy 63, 103894. 4 Chu, T. Carbon Energy 3. 5 Li, Y. Matter 4, 1142-1188. 6 John P. Lock. Macromolecules 39, 4 (2006). 7 Zekoll, S. Energy & Environmental Science 11, 185-201.« less
  4. Silicon as a promising candidate for the next-generation high-capacity lithium-ion battery anode is characterized by outstanding capacity, high abundance, low operational voltage, and environmental benignity. However, large volume changes during Si lithiation and de-lithiation can seriously impair its long-term cyclability. Although extensive research efforts have been made to improve the electrochemical performance of Si-based anodes, there is a lack of efficient fabrication methods that are low cost, scalable, and self-assembled. In this report, co-axial fibrous silicon asymmetric membrane has been synthesized using a scalable and straightforward phase inversion method combined with dip coating as inspired by the hollow fiber membranemore »technology that has been successfully commercialized over the last decades to provide billions of gallons of purified drinking water worldwide. We demonstrate that ~ 90% initial capacity of co-axial fibrous Si asymmetric membrane electrode can be maintained after 300 cycles applying a current density of 400 mA g−1. The diameter of fibers, size of silicon particles, type of polymers, and exterior coating have been identified as critical factors that can influence the electrode stability, initial capacity, and rate performance. Much enhanced electrochemical performance can be harvested from a sample that has thinner fiber diameter, smaller silicon particle, lower silicon content, and porous carbon coating. This efficient and scalable approach to prepare high-capacity silicon-based anode with outstanding cyclability is fully compatible with industrial roll-to-roll processing technology, thus bearing a great potential for its future commercialization.« less
  5. Conventional lithium-ion batteries are unable to meet the increasing demands for high-energy storage systems, because of their limited theoretical capacity. 1 In recent years, intensive attention has been paid to enhancing battery energy storage capability to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society and reduce the average energy capacity cost. Among the candidates for next generation high energy storage systems, the lithium sulfur battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1) and potential cost reduction. In addition, sulfur is a cost effective and environmentally friendly material due to its abundance andmore »low-toxicity. 2 Despite all of these advantages, the practical application of lithium sulfur batteries to date has been hindered by a series of obstacles, including low active material loading, poor cycle life, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics. 3 Achieving high mass loading cathode in the traditional 2D planar thick electrode has been challenged. The high distorsion of the traditional planar thick electrodes for ion/electron transfer leads to the limited utilization of active materials and high resistance, which eventually results in restricted energy density and accelerated electrode failure. 4 Furthermore, of the electrolyte to pores in the cathode and utilization ratio of active materials. Catalysts such as MnO 2 and Co dopants were employed to accelerate the sulfur conversion reaction during the charge and discharge process. 5 However, catalysts based on transition metals suffer from poor electronic conductivity. Other catalysts such as transition metal dopants are also limited due to the increased process complexities. . In addition, the severe shuttle effects in Li-S batteries may lead to fast failures of the battery. Constructing a protection layer on the separator for limiting the transmission of soluble polysulfides is considered an effective way to eliminate the shuttle phenomenon. However, the soluble sulfides still can largely dissolve around the cathode side causing the sluggish reaction condition for sulfur conversion. 5 To mitigate the issues above, herein we demonstrate a novel sulfur electrode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative vapor deposition (oCVD). Specifically, the electrode is strategically designed into a hierarchal hollow structure via stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. The active material concentration loaded to the battery cathode is controlled precisely during 3D printing by adjusting the number of printed layers. Owing to its freedom in geometry and structure, the suggested design is expected to improve the Li ions and electron transport rate considerably, and hence, the battery power density. The printed cathode is sintered at 700 °C at N 2 atmosphere to achieve carbonization of the cathode during which intrinsic carbon defects (e.g., pentagon carbon) as catalytic defect sites are in-situ generated on the cathode. The intrinsic carbon defects equipped with adequate electronic conductivity. The sintered 3D cathode is then transferred to the oCVD chamber for depositing a thin PEDOT layer as a protection layer to restrict dissolutions of sulfur compounds in the cathode. Density functional theory calculation reveals the electronic state variance between the structures with and without defects, the structure with defects demonstrates the higher kinetic condition for sulfur conversion. To further identify the favorable reaction dynamic process, the in-situ XRD is used to characterize the transformation between soluble and insoluble polysulfides, which is the main barrier in the charge and discharge process of Li-S batteries. The results show the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode exhibits a much higher kinetic process for sulfur conversion, which benefits from the highly tailored hierarchal hollow structure and the defects engineering on the cathode. Further, the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode also demonstrates higher stability during long cycling enabled by the oCVD PEDOT protection layer, which is verified by an absorption energy calculation of polysulfides at PEDOT. Such modeling and analysis help to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms that govern cathode performance and degradation in Li-S batteries. The current study also provides design strategies for the sulfur cathode as well as selection approaches to novel battery systems. References: Bhargav, A., (2020). Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Attaining the Critical Metrics. Joule 4 , 285-291. Chung, S.-H., (2018). Progress on the Critical Parameters for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries to be Practically Viable. Advanced Functional Materials 28 , 1801188. Peng, H.-J.,(2017). Review on High-Loading and High-Energy Lithium–Sulfur Batteries. Advanced Energy Materials 7 , 1700260. Chu, T., (2021). 3D printing‐enabled advanced electrode architecture design. Carbon Energy 3 , 424-439. Shi, Z., (2021). Defect Engineering for Expediting Li–S Chemistry: Strategies, Mechanisms, and Perspectives. Advanced Energy Materials 11 . Figure 1« less