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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32123085


The use of potassium (K) metal anodes could result in high-performance K-ion batteries that offer a sustainable and low-cost alternative to lithium (Li)-ion technology. However, formation of dendrites on such K-metal surfaces is inevitable, which prevents their utilization. Here, we report that K dendrites can be healed in situ in a K-metal battery. The healing is triggered by current-controlled, self-heating at the electrolyte/dendrite interface, which causes migration of surface atoms away from the dendrite tips, thereby smoothening the dendritic surface. We discover that this process is strikingly more efficient for K as compared to Li metal. We show that the reason for this is the far greater mobility of surface atoms in K relative to Li metal, which enables dendrite healing to take place at an order-of-magnitude lower current density. We demonstrate that the K-metal anode can be coupled with a potassium cobalt oxide cathode to achieve dendrite healing in a practical full-cell device.

ACS Nano ; 13(12): 14094-14106, 2019 Dec 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31724845


High specific capacity materials that can store potassium (K) are essential for next-generation K-ion batteries. One such candidate material is phosphorene (the 2D allotrope of phosphorus (P)), but the potassiation capability of phosphorene has not yet been established. Here we systematically investigate the alloying of few-layer phosphorene (FLP) with K. Unlike lithium (Li) and sodium (Na), which form Li3P and Na3P, FLP alloys with K to form K4P3, which was confirmed by ex situ X-ray characterization as well as density functional theory calculations. The formation of K4P3 results in high specific capacity (∼1200 mAh g-1) but poor cyclic stability (only ∼9% capacity retention in subsequent cycles). We show that this capacity fade can be successfully mitigated by the use of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as buffer layers to suppress the pulverization of FLP. We studied the performance of rGO and single-walled carbon nanotubes (sCNTs) as buffer materials and found that rGO being a 2D material can better encapsulate and protect FLP relative to 1D sCNTs. The half-cell performance of FLP/rGO could also be successfully reproduced in a full-cell configuration, indicating the possibility of high-performance K-ion batteries that could offer a sustainable and low-cost alternative to Li-ion technology.

Nat Commun ; 10(1): 1764, 2019 04 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30992432


Unlike the vast majority of transition metal dichalcogenides which are semiconductors, vanadium disulfide is metallic and conductive. This makes it particularly promising as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries. However, vanadium disulfide exhibits poor stability due to large Peierls distortion during cycling. Here we report that vanadium disulfide flakes can be rendered stable in the electrochemical environment of a lithium-ion battery by conformally coating them with a ~2.5 nm thick titanium disulfide layer. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the titanium disulfide coating is far less susceptible to Peierls distortion during the lithiation-delithiation process, enabling it to stabilize the underlying vanadium disulfide material. The titanium disulfide coated vanadium disulfide cathode exhibits an operating voltage of ~2 V, high specific capacity (~180 mAh g-1 @200 mA g-1 current density) and rate capability (~70 mAh g-1 @1000 mA g-1), while achieving capacity retention close to 100% after 400 charge-discharge steps.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 10(16): 13442-13451, 2018 Apr 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29620865


High specific capacity anode materials such as silicon (Si) are increasingly being explored for next-generation, high performance lithium (Li)-ion batteries. In this context, Si films are advantageous compared to Si nanoparticle based anodes since in films the free volume between nanoparticles is eliminated, resulting in very high volumetric energy density. However, Si undergoes volume expansion (contraction) under lithiation (delithiation) of up to 300%. This large volume expansion leads to stress build-up at the interface between the Si film and the current collector, leading to delamination of Si from the surface of the current collector. To prevent this, adhesion promotors (such as chromium interlayers) are often used to strengthen the interface between the Si and the current collector. Here, we show that such approaches are in fact counter-productive and that far better electrochemical stability can be obtained by engineering a van der Waals "slippery" interface between the Si film and the current collector. This can be accomplished by simply coating the current collector surface with graphene sheets. For such an interface, the Si film slips with respect to the current collector under lithiation/delithiation, while retaining electrical contact with the current collector. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate (i) less stress build-up and (ii) less stress "cycling" on a van der Waals slippery substrate as opposed to a fixed interface. Electrochemical testing confirms more stable performance and much higher Coulombic efficiency for Si films deposited on graphene-coated nickel (i.e., slippery interface) as compared to conventional nickel current collectors.

Science ; 359(6383): 1513-1516, 2018 03 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29599241


Lithium (Li) metal electrodes are not deployable in rechargeable batteries because electrochemical plating and stripping invariably leads to growth of dendrites that reduce coulombic efficiency and eventually short the battery. It is generally accepted that the dendrite problem is exacerbated at high current densities. Here, we report a regime for dendrite evolution in which the reverse is true. In our experiments, we found that when the plating and stripping current density is raised above ~9 milliamperes per square centimeter, there is substantial self-heating of the dendrites, which triggers extensive surface migration of Li. This surface diffusion heals the dendrites and smoothens the Li metal surface. We show that repeated doses of high-current-density healing treatment enables the safe cycling of Li-sulfur batteries with high coulombic efficiency.

ACS Nano ; 11(5): 5051-5061, 2017 05 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28414906


Silicon (Si) shows promise as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries due to its very high specific capacity. However, Si is highly brittle, and in an effort to prevent Si from fracturing, the research community has migrated from the use of Si films to Si nanoparticle based electrodes. However, such a strategy significantly reduces volumetric energy density due to the porosity of Si nanoparticle electrodes. Here we show that contrary to conventional wisdom, Si films can be stabilized by two strategies: (a) anchoring the Si films to a carbon nanotube macrofilm (CNM) current collector and (b) draping the films with a graphene monolayer. After electrochemical cycling, the graphene-coated Si films on CNM resembled a tough mud-cracked surface in which the graphene capping layer suppresses delamination and stabilizes the solid electrolyte interface. The graphene-draped Si films on CNM exhibit long cycle life (>1000 charge/discharge steps) with an average specific capacity of ∼806 mAh g-1. The volumetric capacity averaged over 1000 cycles of charge/discharge is ∼2821 mAh cm-3, which is 2 to 5 times higher than what is reported in the literature for Si nanoparticle based electrodes. The graphene-draped Si anode could also be successfully cycled against commercial cathodes in a full-cell configuration.