A novel graphene and silicon nano-particle hybrid anode material for Li-ion batteries

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The key research goals in this project are:

  • To develop novel graphene and silicon nanoparticle hybrid anode for Li-ion and Li-S batteries, targeting high specific energy and fast charge/discharge rates.
  • Evaluate the electrochemical performance of the nano-hybrid anode, particularly cycling performance and contrast with benchmarking results.

The details

Graphene, the monolayer carbon first isolated in Manchester, has a unique combination of many superlative properties that makes it an ideal battery electrode material including high strength combined with flexibility, high electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity and high specific surface area.

Graphene is currently being explored for a number of different battery types and supercapacitor electrodes, including for novel batteries such as Li-S and Li-Air batteries. A Li-silicon battery is a sub-class of Li-ion battery which uses silicon as anode material for Li ion charge carriers.

They have higher specific capacity compared to graphite, which is the traditional electrode material, but the disadvantage of a large volume change compared to graphite as well as poorer electrical conductivity.

One strategy to improve the specific capacity of Si anodes even further – while accommodating the volume expansion – is to use silicon nanoparticles and nanowires.

Furthermore, a hybrid anode of graphite and Si nanoparticles could further improve both the volume expansion, conductivity and capacity of a Si anode.

In this project, we propose that a hybrid anode comprised of graphene and silicon nanoparticles will achieve the most intimate blend of these two promising anode materials, maximising the benefits of each and the synergy between the two.

The graduate researcher on this project is: Lucy McElhone

Supervision team

Other joint PhD projects