Scientific Highlight: Nanostructured Silicon anodes for Lithium-ion batteries

IMDEA Materials has a proprietary method to produce continuous sheets of nanostructured Silicon [1] (see Fig. 1) and their integration as high capacity anodes in Lithium-ion batteries without use of processing solvents or polymers. The electrodes combine high capacity (> 6 mAh/cm2), high Coulombic efficiency (> 99 %) and high capacity retention.

Fig. 1: Sheets of nanostructured Si for LIBs. (left) Metre-long sheet of nanostructured Si. (middle) Freestanding nanostructured Si without polymers or binders. (right) battery cells with nanostructured Si anodes

This technology spans from the synthesis of nanostructured sheets to the integration as fully-transformed electrodes in electrochemical devices. A semi-industrial process is used for the fabrication of continuous sheets of nanostructured silicon, compatible with different current collectors, supports or other downstream modifications. This material can be integrated in full cells of standard sizes (coin, pouch, etc), as well as in complex shapes, including designs with high curvature.

In addition to the fabrication of electrodes, IMDEA Materials has ample expertise in advanced characterization of nanostructured electrodes, including using in-situ spectroscopic and X-Ray diffraction techniques during electrochemical processes [2] and mechanical deformations [3].

[1]    Schäufele RS, Vazquez-Pufleau M, Vilatela JJ. Tough sheets of nanowires produced floating in the gas phase. Materials Horizons 11 (2020)

[2]    Boaretto N, Rana M, Marcilla R, Vilatela JJ. Revealing the Mechanism of Electrochemical Lithiation of Carbon Nanotube Fibers. ACS Applied Energy Materials 3, 8695 (2020)

[3]    Fernández-Toribio JC, Mikhalchan A, Santos C, Ridruejo Á, Vilatela JJ. Understanding cooperative loading in carbon nanotube fibres through in-situ structural studies during stretching. Carbon 156, 430 (2020)

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