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New hybrid material improves silicon’s performance in Li-ion batteries
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:22.Apr.2020

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed a new hybrid material of mesoporous silicon microparticles and carbon nanotubes that can improve the performance of silicon in Li-ion batteries. Advances in battery technology are essential for sustainable development and for achieving climate neutrality.

 

States and companies worldwide are eagerly looking for new and sustainable technologies to achieve climate neutrality in every sector of society, ranging from transportation and production of consumables to energy production.

 

Once green energy is produced, it needs to be stored before it can be used in portable applications. In this step, battery technology plays an essential role in making the consumption of green energy a viable alternative.

 

In the future, silicon will gradually replace carbon as the anode material in Li-ion batteries (LIBs). This development is driven by the fact that the capacity of silicon is ten times higher than the capacity of graphite, which is nowadays used as the anode material in LIBs. Using silicon in the anode makes it possible to even double the capacity of the total battery cell.


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The new hybrid material can improve the performance of silicon in Li-ion batteries.


However, silicon is facing severe challenges in battery technology due to its unstable material properties. Moreover, there is no technology available so far to produce feasible anodes solely from silicon.

 

To minimise the reducing effect of high charging rates on the capacity of silicon anodes, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have developed a hybrid material of mesoporous silicon (PSi) microparticles and carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

 

According to the researchers, the hybrid material needs to be realised through chemical conjugation of PSi and CNTs with the right polarity so as to not hinder the diffusion of lithium ions into silicon. With the right type of conjugation, also the electrical conductivity and mechanical durability of the material was improved.

 

“The progress of the LIB research is very exciting, and we want to contribute to the field with our know-how related to mesoporous structures of silicon,” Professor Vesa-Pekka Lehto from the University of Eastern Finland notes.

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