Researchers at the UK’s University of Warwick have reinforced anode structure with graphene girders by developing an effective approach for replacing graphite in anodes by using silicone, as a result of which the capacity of lithium ion batteries is boosted significantly as well as double the lifespan of the same.
By adding graphene girders, researchers have effectively handled and addressed performance issues of silicon and efficiently stepped up the capacity of the battery and prolonging its lifestyle by more than double. In Lithium-ion batteries, silicon is plagued with capacity fade and as silicone is not intrinsically elastic in order to handle the strain of litigation when it is charged repeatedly, it leads to the cracking and rapid physical decoration of the composite microstructure of the anode.
Therefore, the researchers discovered a new anode mixture which can be developed on an industrial scale without the need of nano sizing the silicone and therefore avoiding the associated problems. By separating and manipulating the connected layers of graphene, researchers got a few layer graphene or FLG material. This FLG material can drastically boost the performance of larger micron sized silicone particles when used in an anode. The use of FLG boosts the resilience as well as the tensile properties of the material and this reduces the level of damage caused by the physical expansion of the silicone during the process of litigation. In addition to this, FLG flakes are effective in preserving the degree of separation between the particles of silicon. Each battery charge cycle increases the probability of silicone particles to become electrochemical welded to each other.
The research team has already started working further on this project which is led by Varta Micro Innovations in conjunction with the Cambridge University, CIC, Lithops, and Italian Institute of Technology, for the pre-industrial production of silicon graphene composites as well as processing into lithium ion batteries for use in high-power and high-energy applications.