High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires

Candace Chan, Hailin Peng, Gao Liu, Kevin Mc Ilwrath, Xiao Feng Zhang, Robert A. Huggins, Yi Cui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Scopus citations


There is great interest in developing rechargeable lithium batteries with higher energy capacity and longer cycle life for applications in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles and implantable medical devices1. Silicon is an attractive anode material for lithium batteries because it has a low discharge potential and the highest known theoretical charge capacity (4,200 mAh g-1; ref. 2). Although this is more than ten times higher than existing graphite anodes and much larger than various nitride and oxide materials3,4, silicon anodes have limited applications5 because silicon's volume changes by 400% upon insertion and extraction of lithium, which results in pulverization and capacity fading2. Here, we show that silicon nanowire battery electrodes circumvent these issues as they can accommodate large strain without pulverization, provide good electronic contact and conduction, and display short lithium insertion distances. We achieved the theoretical charge capacity for silicon anodes and maintained a discharge capacity close to 75% of this maximum, with little fading during cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials for Sustainable Energy: A Collection of Peer-Reviewed Research and Review Articles from Nature Publishing Group
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9789814317665
ISBN (Print)9814317640, 9789814317641
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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