This technology developed by Professor Sottos and her research team improves capacity in Li-ION batteries with a new type of Si composite anode and will be useful in high capacity battery applications such as electric vehicles and grid-level energy storage. It will allow for higher capacity Li- Ion batteries than those using graphite anodes, and better capacity retention than other Si composite anodes. This is the first Si composite anode to introduce dynamic ionic bonding to achieve self-healing characteristics to overcome volume changes due to lithium intercala- tion and maintain a conductive network.
Si based anodes possess capacities that are much greater than graphite electrodes that are currently in use. However, Si anodes are subject to large volume changes during lithium intercalation, causing breaks in the electrical network and rapid capacity loss. Dr. Sottos’ new anode features self-healing characteristics that have allowed for an 80% capacity retention after 400 charge cycles, resulting in a retained capacity that is still about three times greater than the maximum attainable capacity of a graphite anode.