The Evolution of a High Capacity Electrode

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: 14:40
101-C (Phoenix Convention Center)
Y. Wang (University of Maryland) and C. F. Sun (University of Maryland)
Silicon can store Li+ at a capacity 10 times as high as that of graphite anodes. However, to harness this remarkable potential for electrical energy storage, one must address the multifaceted challenge of volume change inherent to high capacity electrode materials. In this talk, we present novel chemical strategies to address this challenge. Based on fundamental understanding of nanostructure interface, we have synthesized non-cracking silicon-carbon nanotube composite electrodes that electrically connect amorphous silicon beads. This synthesis is made possible by a propagative chemistry which creates regular bands of alkylcarboxyl groups along the nanotubes. The functional bands anchor the beads such that they exhibit a symmetric “radial breathing” around the CNT string, remaining crack-free and electrically connected throughout lithiation-delithiation cycling. We further show that, solely by chemical tailoring of the Si-C interface with atomic oxygen, the cycle life of the electrodes can be substantially improved, by 300%, even at high mass loadings. The evolution of this work culminates in the design and fabrication of a high capacity composite electrode that is weavable. The engineered andoe simultaneously attains high areal capacity (3.86 mAh/cm2), high specific capacity (922 mAh/g based on the mass of the entire electrode), and excellent cyclability (80% retention of capacity after 160 cycles), which are among the highest reported.

This work was mainly supported as part of Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DESC0001160. We acknowledge cumulative contributions from many collaborators particularly K. Karki, M. Okada, H. Liao, H. Zhu, Z. Jia, E. Baker, Y. Zhang, K. Gaskell, A. Ghemes, P. Wang, J. Cumings, L. Hu, Y. Inoue, T. Li, Y. Qi, and G. W. Rubloff.