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Application of graphene in lithium-ion batteries

The unique physical and chemical characteristics of graphene make graphene a great candidate for research in electrode materials. With different applications, graphene can be classified into three types: application of graphene to lithium-ion cells, application of anode material, and any other application.

Application graphene to cathode materials

Cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries must have high reversible potential, stable and large potential, low cost, and no toxicities. LiFePO4 (low lithium ion mobility) and lithium iron phosphate are currently the main cathodes for lithium-ion cells. It is possible to improve the conductivity and rate performance of LiFePO4 materials by adding graphene.

A lack of research on graphene material positive electrodes is due to its uniqueness. Research has shown that hydrothermal methods of covering graphene directly on LiFePO4 surfaces to produce composite materials have a poor rate improvement in performance. It could also be because graphene structure is destroyed or stacked.

This study showed that half-wrapping LiFePO4 in graphene could increase the conductivity, while full-wrapping can decrease the ion transmittance efficiency. Some speculate that this may be due to the fact that lithium ions do not pass through the graphene’s six-membered rings structure. To prepare LiFePO4/graphene hybrids, some researchers ultrasonically combined LiFePO4 Nanoparticles with graphite dioxide. When the material has been further coated with traditional carbon, its specific ability for lithium insertion increases greatly and can maintain at 70mAh/g even under high rates of 60C.

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