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Just Accepted NanoLetters: Stokes et al-Copper Silicide Nanowires as Hosts for Amorphous Si Deposition as a Route to Produce High Capacity Lithium-ion Battery Anodes

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b03664

  • Killian Stokes
  • Hugh Geaney
  • Martin Sheehan
  • Dana Borsa
  • Kevin M. Ryan*

Herein, copper silicide (Cu15Si4) nanowires (NWs) grown in high densities from a metallic Cu substrate are utilized as nanostructured hosts for amorphous silicon (aSi) deposition. The conductive Cu15Si4 NW scaffolds offer an increased surface area, versus planar substrates, and enable the preparation of high capacity Li-ion anodes consisting of a nanostructured active material. The formation method involves a two-step process, where Cu15Si4 nanowires are synthesized from a Cu substrate via a solvent vapor growth (SVG) approach followed by the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of aSi. These binder-free anodes are investigated in half-cell (versus Li-foil) and full-cell (versus LCO) configurations with discharge capacities greater than 2000 mAh/g retained after 200 cycles (half-cell) and reversible capacities of 1870 mAh/g exhibited after 100 cycles (full-cell). A noteworthy rate capability is also attained where capacities of up to 1367 mAh/g and 1520 mAh/g are exhibited at 5C in half-cell and full-cell configurations, respectively, highlighting the active material’s promise for fast charging and high power applications. The anode material is characterized prior to cycling and after 1, 25, and 100 charge/discharge cycles, by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), to track the effects of cycling on the material.