Sumair Imtiaz 1,2,3, Ibrahim Saana Amiinu 1,2, Dylan Storan 1,2, Nilotpal Kapuria 1,2, Hugh Geaney 1,2, Tadhg Kennedy 1,2,*, and Kevin M. Ryan 1,2,3,*
1Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
2Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
3Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Silicon nanowires (Si NWs) are a promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to their high specific capacity. Achieving adequate mass loadings for binder-free Si NWs is restricted by low surface area, mechanically unstable and poorly conductive current collectors (CCs), as well as complicated/expensive fabrication routes. Herein, a tunable mass loading and dense Si NW growth on a conductive, flexible, fire-resistant, and mechanically robust interwoven stainless-steel fiber cloth (SSFC) using a simple glassware setup is reported. The SSFC CC facilitates dense growth of Si NWs where its open structure allows a buffer space for expansion/contraction during Li-cycling. The Si NWs@SSFC anode displays a stable performance for 500 cycles with an average Coulombic efficiency of >99.5%. Galvanostatic cycling of the Si NWs@SSFC anode with a mass loading of 1.32 mg cm-2 achieves a stable areal capacity of ≈2 mAh cm-2 at 0.2 C after 200 cycles. Si NWs@SSFC anodes with different mass loadings are characterized before and after cycling by scanning and transmission electron microscopy to examine the effects of Li-cycling on the morphology. Notably, this approach allows the large-scale fabrication of robust and flexible binder-free Si NWs@SSFC architectures, making it viable for practical applications in high energy density LIBs.