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Role of silicon-graphite homogeneity as promoted by low molecular weight dispersants...

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Journal of Power Sources
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This study explores low molecular weight polymers with the same chemical repeat structure as high molecular weight poly acrylic acid (PAA) and lithium poly acrylic acid (LiPAA) binders which act as a dispersant to improve the silicon-graphite electrode performance. The electrodes which utilize LiPAA as a dispersant perform, on average, the best with respect to the maximum capacity (compared to theoretical), rate performance, and capacity retention with time. These electrodes also have the poorest dispersion of binder, indicating that the poor binder dispersion is essential to electrode performance. In contrast, this study shows that electrodes formulated using PAA had good dispersion and performs the worst in cycling. Finally, this work demonstrates that the binder is not uniformly distributed in the electrode, but rather resides in local regions. The results indicate these regions accommodate volume expansion during cycling.