Apr 17, 2009
Porous nanofibres power up rechargeable batteries
Electrospinning has emerged as an effective and attractive approach to preparing lithium-ion battery (LIB) electrodes with high reversible capacities, good capacity retention and favorable rate performance for today's information-rich, mobile society.
As reported in Nanotechnology, researchers from North Carolina State University, US, are using an industrially viable electrospinning technique and subsequent carbonization processes to fabricate porous carbon nanofibres (PCNFs). These prepared PCNFs can provide fast lithium charge/discharge kinetics, a short distance for both lithium-ion and electron diffusions, as well as the added pore space to accommodate the volume change accompanying lithium-ion intercalation. As a result, they exhibit remarkably improved lithium-storage capacities and excellent cycling performance when compared with graphite, which is presently used in state-of-the-art LIBs.
This novel, but simple and low-cost strategy may open up new opportunities to promote the research, development and commercialization of nanostructured anode materials for high-capacity and high-current LIBs., which are the dominant power sources for consumer devices and electric vehicles.
About the author
This work is performed at North Carolina State University and is supported by the US National Science Foundation, the ERC Program of the National Science Foundation and ACS Petroleum Research Funding. Liwen Ji is a PhD student involved in the project of lithium alloy-carbon composite nanofibres for energy storage by electrospinning and carbonization at North Carolina State University. Prof. Xiangwu Zhang is the head of the Energy Fiber Group at North Carolina State University, which focuses on nanostructured and multifunctional polymer, composite, fiber and textile materials with an emphasis on energy-related applications.