Hybrid material improves Li-ion battery silicon performance

Hybrid material improves Li-ion battery silicon performance
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have developed a hybrid material that can improve the performance of silicon in Li-ion batteries as part of a drive to achieve sustainable development and climate neutrality.

Silicon will reportedly be used to gradually replace carbon as the anode material in Li-ion batteries, with the development being driven by increased capacity in silicon being ten times higher than the capacity of graphite anode materials as used in commercially available in Li-ion batteries. 

Using silicon could allow for the capacity of the total battery cell to be doubled, but the technology faces challenges due to the use of unstable material properties, in addition to a lack of technology able to produce anodes solely from silicon. 

The development from the University of Eastern Finland is a hybrid material of mesoporous silicon (Psi) microparticles and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), with the hybrid material created through chemical conjugation of Psi and CNTs at the right polarity to avoid diffusing the lithium ions into silicon.

The new material is produced from barley husk ash to minimise the carbon footprint of the anode material.

The researchers are now aiming to produce a full silicon anode with a solid electrolyte to address the safety challenges of Li-ion batteries and to the unstable solid electrolyte interface. 

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