Silicon nanoparticles are crystalline silicon particles less than 5 nanometers (1 billion (1G) meters) in diameter. Nanometer silicon particles have the characteristics of high purity, small size and uniform distribution. With the characteristics of large surface area, high surface activity and low packing density, the product is non-toxic and tasteless. Nanometer silicon particle is a new generation of optoelectronic semiconductor material, which has a wide gap energy semiconductor and is also a high power light source material.
A new study led by researchers at the national institute of materials research in Japan shows that a silicon anode consisting of only industrial silicon nanoparticles prepared by spray deposition has excellent electrode properties in a solid electrolyte. The method is a cost-effective atmospheric technology, so the researchers’ results suggest that it will be possible in the near future to produce low-cost and large-scale high-capacity cathode electrodes for use in all-solid lithium batteries.
Silicon has a theoretical capacity of 4, 200 milliamps per gram, which is 10 times larger than graphite, which is commonly used in commercial lithium as a reactive anode. Replacing traditional graphite with silicon can greatly extend the range of evs per charge, but silicon’s capacity changes greatly during lithium and delithium, that is, charging and discharging, which hinders its practical application in batteries.
In traditional liquid electrolytes, polymeric adhesives are used to hold the active particles in the electrode together and to maintain their adhesion to the metal surface. The constant change in the capacity of silicon will lead to the separation of particles, loss of active substances, and finally the continuous loss of capacity. In a solid-state battery, the active material is placed between two solid-state elements, the solid electrolyte isolation layer and the metal current collector. The actual area capacity of pure silicon film deposited by sputtering is more than 2.2 mAh/cm2, which shows good cycle stability and high rate discharge capacity in solid electrolyte. However, the cost effectiveness and industrial scalability of all solid-state lithium battery cathode remains a huge challenge.
Researchers at the national institute of materials research in Japan have used another synthesis method to produce high-performance negative-electrode, all-solid lithium batteries for commercial silicon nanoparticles. They found that the nanoparticles had a unique phenomenon in solid-state batteries: after lithium, they expanded in volume, compacted in structure, and apparently coalesced in a finite space between the solid electrolyte separator layer and the metal collector to form a continuous membrane, similar to that produced by evaporation. Thus, the negative electrode composed of nanoparticles prepared by vapor deposition has excellent electrode properties, which were previously observed only on thin film electrodes deposited by sputtering. Spray deposition is an economical and effective atmospheric technique which can be used in mass production.
Therefore, these findings will pave the way for low-cost and large-scale production of large-capacity negative electrodes for all-solid lithium batteries.
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