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Canada found that silicon nanoparticles can increase the storage capacity of lithium batteries by 10 times

There are abundant reserves of silicon. Si and Li can form a Li4.4Si structural arrangement, with a theoretical specific energy of 4200mAh/g. That is almost ten-times higher than that of the lithium-ion battery currently in use. In the present day, silicon materials are used in lithium-ion cells primarily for two reasons. One way is to add nano-silicon to anode materials to create a carbon-silicon anode. To improve the performance, organosilicon compounds can be added to the electrolyte.

The University Alberta created a new generation silicon-based lithium battery

Jillian Biriak and her team at the University of Alberta (Canada) discovered recently that forming the silicon into nano-sized particle helps it to resist breaking.

Nano-silicon can be defined as crystalline particles of silicon that have a diameter less than five nanometers. It is an important nonmetal amorphous substance. Nano-silicon has many properties, including high purity and uniformity, large specific surfaces, high surface activity and low bulk density. It is also non-toxic and smellless. Nano-silicon can have a variety of uses: It can be used to make high temperature coatings and refractory material, and it can also be mixed with a crystalline diamond under high pressurized to form composite materials. These materials can then be used as cutting materials and combined with graphite to form composite materials made from silicon and carbon. The negative electrode material in lithium-ion cells increases the battery’s capacity. This material can be combined with organic matter to create organic silicon polymer.

The team studied and tested four sizes of nanoparticles of silicon to determine which size would maximize its advantages while minimizing the disadvantages. They are evenly dispersed in a highly conductive graphene-carbon aerogel with nanopores that compensates for the low conductivity silicon.

After multiple cycles of charge and discharge, they found that particles as small as one-part-of-ameter showed the most stability. It is possible to overcome the limitations of using silicon for lithium-ion cells. This discovery may lead to the development of a battery with a capacity 10 times greater than the current lithium-ion ones. This is an important step towards manufacturing a silicon-based generation of lithium-ion lithium batteries. The research findings were published in the journal Materials Chemistry.

The lithium battery industry’s chain of millions of dollars in silicon anode sales

This research can be applied in many fields, including electric vehicles. The batteries will become lighter, travel longer and charge faster. The next step will be to create a method that is faster and cheaper to produce silicon nanoparticles. This will make it easier for industrial production.

Other than new energy vehicles, the need for lithium-ion battery with higher energy and power density is also present in energy storage and shipbuilding. It is now common to use high nickel ternary material as the positive electrode, while silicon or its composites are the most promising materials for the negative electrode.

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