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Title: Silicon Microreactor as a Fast Charge, Long Cycle Life Anode with High Initial Coulombic Efficiency Synthesized via a Scalable Method
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 milling 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.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1660572 1918991
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
ACS applied energy materials
Page Range / eLocation ID:
4744 – 4757
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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