Silicon Graphite Anode Material

Silicon Graphite Anode Material Li-ion Batteries

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Contents

  • Conventional Anode Material
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of conventional anode material
  • Alternative Anode Material as Silicon 
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Silicon
  • Developments in India in the Li-ion Sector

Summary

Alternative Anode material for Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are omnipresent in modern day electronic portable devices like smartphones, laptops and also electric vehicles. The growing popularity of lithium ion batteries also includes the military and aerospace applications.

Anodes plays an important role, which stores the Lithium ion. Currently, the race is to make a better anode material that is driving the industry forward. There are many efficient research community constantly working to improve the performance of the anode material that would result a better high capacity battery and increased charge cycles. Silicon has therefore become a preferred choice.

  • Conventional Anode Material :

Synthetic Graphite coated with Special Petroleum Pitch have been the tested & tried conventional anode material for years. Graphite has a layered structure which hold lithium ion within layers. However, the capacity of Graphite to hold Li-ion is limited. In order to increase battery capacity the manufacturers had to add more layers of Graphite leading to a bulky cell and increased cost. Graphite based Li-ion batteries account for 20-30% of the cost of an electric vehicle.

  • Advantages of graphite anode material for lithium ion battery :
    • graphite is widely sourced and abundant in reserves; 
    • the vibration density is higher after modification; 
    • stable electrochemical performance; 
    • the actual specific capacity density can be close to the theoretical specific capacity.
  • Silicon in Silicon Graphite Anode Material as an alternative  :

As an alternative to Graphite, Silicon (Si) has been recognised as one of the most promising Silicon Graphite Anode Material for Li-ion batteries due to its high gravimetric theoretical lithium storage capacity (3,579 mAh g−1). This would lead to production of ten times higher capacity of Li-ion battery than graphite based also resulting in a lighter & safer battery. Although Silicon could take on more lithium than graphite, its volume expansion to about 300% causes the anode to become electrically insulating and break apart (Si particles Cracking). Hence, the life cycle of silicon-based lithium batteries limits to about 100 cycles.

To overcome this problem there are ongoing research on sandwiching silicon nanoparticles in-between carbon nanotubes (called Buckypaper) layer structure that can withstand 500 cycles and deliver capacities three times larger than graphite. 

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