Yi Cui, Stanford University
Reviving of Li Metal Anode Through Materials Design
Written by Armin VahidMohammadi
Although there is a great interest in battery systems beyond lithium, Li-ion batteries are the only systems that have shown reliable performance and scale-ability for different applications in the industry. Yi Cui from Stanford University discussed the current status of Li-ion batteries and the future roadmap of developing the next generation of these battery systems. During the past 20 years, different materials designs have helped increase the performance of Li batteries. Silicon is one of the most promising electrode materials for lithium ion batteries as it has a very high theoretical capacity; however, it suffers from very poor mechanical stability due to the high volume expansion in the charge and discharge. Si particles suffer from mechanical instability and they break after some cycles due to huge volume expansion in their structure. Making particles smaller (nanosized particles) was explained as a solution to somehow overcome this mechanical failure and maintain the electrical contact inside the electrode network. Cui said the main challenge of Li metal resides in the problem of finding a host for it and also its high chemical reactivity. Cui’s group designed a stable interface to create a host for Li metal. Cui also introduced Li-reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as a promising electrode for lithium batteries.