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New Layered Nanolaminates for Use in Lithium Battery Anodes

Sponsor:

Lawrence Berkley National Labs

Principal Investigator(s):

Dr. Yury Gogotsi, Trustee Chair Professor, Materials Engineering

Dr. Michel Barsoum, Professor, Materials Engineering

IExE Cluster:

Energy Storage Technologies

Summary:

Increasing the specific capacity of Li-ion battery anodes may lead to lower weight, size and cost of the battery.  Silicon and tin-based anodes have recently received much attention as an alternative to conventional graphite, because they offer an order of magnitude higher specific capacity. However, these high-capacity anodes show large volume changes during Li insertion and extraction, leading to electrode failure. The use of these anodes requires very expensive nanoparticles, such as Si nanowires, mixing the nanoparticles with graphite or other carbons, and charging well below the maximum capacity. Therefore, producing inexpensive, safe and reliable anodes from those materials remains a challenge. This project explores  a  new  class  of  materials  - early transition metal carbides and carbonitrides called MXenes - that  combine  the  laminate  structure  and electrical conductivity of graphite, which is a widely used cycling-tolerant  and inexpensive anode material, with oxide-like surfaces  that can provide a higher Li uptake and faster charge-discharge rate. Those new materials – two-dimensional carbides and nitrides - may offer a higher capacity than graphite, lesser expansion, longer cycle life, higher power and a faster charging rate.

This work is supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, subcontract No. 6951370, under the Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies (BATT) Program.