Researchers discovered that wrapping anodes in 3D carbon nanosheets prevents their expansion in lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries are very commonly used rechargeable batteries. The anode materials in the li-ion battery technology acts as the host where they reversibly allow li-ion intercalation/deintercalation during charge/discharge cycles. Interestingly, anode materials make up to 10-18% of the total cost of the battery materials. Moreover, the performance and safety of the li-ion battery depend highly on the anode material. For making a high energy density and safe battery, the use of high-capacity electrodes for anode as well as cathode is essential.
The anodes in lithium-ion batteries today have multiple inadequacies, ranging from low ionic electronic conductivity and structural changes during the charge/discharge cycle to low specific capacity, which limits the battery’s performance.
Researchers from the Republic of Korea have recently discovered that embedding manganese selenide anodes in a 3D carbon nanosheet matrix is an innovative, simple, and low-cost means of reducing drastic volume expansion while improving the energy density of these batteries.
Dr. Jun Kang of Korea Maritime and Ocean University explains, “We focused on manganese selenide (MnSe), an affordable transition metal compound known for its high electrical conductivity and applicability in developing semiconductors and supercapacitors- as a possible candidate for the advanced LIB anode.” But the MnSe material undergoes a drastic volume change during charge/discharge cycles.
To prevent this volume change, researchers infused the MnSe nanoparticles into a three-dimensional porous carbon nanosheet matrix (or 3DCNM). The carbon nanosheet scaffold provided the anchored MnSe nanoparticles with numerous advantages, such as a high number of active sites and an enhanced contact area with the electrolyte and protected them from drastic volume expansion.
Dr. Kang says, “Using a conducive filler scaffold, we have developed an anode that boosts the battery performance while simultaneously allowing reversible energy storage. This strategy can serve as a guide for other transition metal selenides with high surface areas and stable nanostructures, with applications in storage systems, electrocatalysis, and semiconductors.”
The study is published in the Chemical Engineering Journal.