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Macro-porous, nanocrystalline silicon layer for lithium-ion batteries

08.10.2015

For the production of rechargeable batteries, it is desirable to use silicon as anode material in Li-ion batteries. The use of silicon anodes theoretically increases battery capacity tenfold compared to conventional graphite anodes. However, the attempt had previously failed, since the layers would expand by 300 to 400 % due to the storage of lithium ions in the Si bulk material. This induces a high residual strain and can destroy the bulk Si after only a few charge cycles. In addition, as a consequence of the irreversible reaction between the Si anode and electrolyte a layer of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) can develop and lead to a low coulombic efficiency. Scientists of the University of Stuttgart now succeeded in developing a porous semiconductor layer, which displays a pore distribution from 50 to 3000 nm and eliminates the residual strain. It can be manufactured in a continuous process.

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