It is well-known that one-dimensional nanostructures reduce pulverization of silicon (Si)-based anode materials during Li ion cycling because they allow lateral relaxation. However, even with improved designs, Si nanowire-based structures still exhibit limited cycling stability for extended numbers of cycles, with the specific capacity retention with cycling not showing significant improvements over commercial carbon-based anode materials. We have found that one important reason for the lack of long cycling stability can be the presence of milli- and microscale Si islands which typically form under nanowire arrays during their growth. Stress buildup in these Si island underlayers with cycling results in cracking, and the loss of specific capacity for Si nanowire anodes, due to progressive loss of contact with current collectors. We show that the formation of these parasitic Si islands for Si nanowires grown directly on metal current collectors can be avoided by growth through anodized aluminum oxide templates containing a high density of sub-100 nm nanopores. Using this template approach we demonstrate significantly enhanced cycling stability for Si nanowire-based lithium-ion battery anodes, with retentions of more than ∼1000 mA·h/g discharge capacity over 1100 cycles.
- Lithium-ion battery
- anodic aluminum oxide template
- silicon island
- silicon nanowire