3 years ago

Rational Design of Hierarchical Carbon/Mesoporous Silicon Composite Sponges as High-Performance Flexible Energy Storage Electrodes

Rational Design of Hierarchical Carbon/Mesoporous Silicon Composite Sponges as High-Performance Flexible Energy Storage Electrodes
Mingchu Zou, Xiangdong Yang, Zhihao Li, Yanbing Yang, Anyuan Cao, Shasha Chen, Quan Yuan
Nanostructuring silicon (Si) and combining Si with carbon shells have been studied in recent Li-ion battery electrodes, yet it remains a grand challenge to overcome the low electrical conductivity and associated volume change of Si. Here, by first coating a mesoporous SiO2 (meso-SiO2) onto carbon nanotube (CNT) networks and then converting it into a meso-Si layer covered by carbon, we obtained a freestanding, highly porous composite sponge electrode consisting of three-dimensionally interconnected sandwiched carbon-Si-CNT skeletons. In this hierarchical structure, the macropores among the sponge connect to mesopores in the meso-Si layer so that Li+ diffusion is facilitated, whereas the underlying CNT networks serve as conductive paths for electrons transport. Meanwhile, the outer carbon coating on meso-Si could buffer the volume expansion and prevent material shedding. As a result, our sandwiched carbon-Si-CNT electrodes exhibit large specific capacity, high rate capability and long cycle life. The combination of carbon-wrapped meso-Si and CNT sponges might be a potential strategy for developing efficient electrodes in various energy storage systems.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b05032

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b05032

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