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Functionalized Silicon Particles for Enhanced Half- and Full-Cell Cycling of Si-Based Li-Ion Batteries

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Publication Date
Page Numbers
10554 to 10569

Vinylene carbonate (VC) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) have been investigated as functional agents that mimic the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) chemistry of silicon (Si). VC and PEO are known to contribute to the stability of Si-based lithium-ion batteries as an electrolyte additive and as a SEI component, respectively. In this work, covalent surface functionalization was achieved via a facile route, which involves ball-milling the Si particles with sacrificial VC and PEO. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) spectroscopy indicate that the additives are strongly bound to Si. In particular, MAS NMR shows Si–R or Si–O–R groups, which confirm functionalization of the Si after milling in VC or PEO. Particle size analysis by dynamic light scattering reveals that the additives facilitate particle size reduction and that the functionalized particles result in more stable dispersions based on zeta potential measurements. Raman mapping of the electrodes fabricated from the VC and PEO-coated active material with a polyacrylic acid (PAA) binder reveals a more homogenous distribution of Si and the carbon conductive additive compared to the electrodes prepared from the neat Si. Furthermore, the VC-milled Si strikingly exhibited the highest capacity in both half- and full-cell configurations, with more than 200 mAh g–1 measured capacity compared to the neat Si in the half-cell format. This is linked to an improved electrode processing based on the Raman and zeta potential measurements as well as a thinner SEI (with more organic components for the functionalized Si relative to the neat Si) based on XPS analysis of the cycled electrodes. The effect of binder was also investigated by comparing PAA with P84 (polyimide type), where an increased capacity is observed in the latter case.