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Nano Lett. 2012 Oct 10;12(10):5122-30. doi: 10.1021/nl3019559. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Binder-free and carbon-free nanoparticle batteries: a method for nanoparticle electrodes without polymeric binders or carbon black.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

Abstract

In this work, we have developed a new fabrication method for nanoparticle (NP) assemblies for Li-ion battery electrodes that require no additional support or conductive materials such as polymeric binders or carbon black. By eliminating these additives, we are able to improve the battery capacity/weight ratio. The NP film is formed by using electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of colloidally synthesized, monodisperse cobalt NPs that are transformed through the nanoscale Kirkendall effect into hollow Co(3)O(4). EPD forms a network of NPs that are mechanically very robust and electrically connected, enabling them to act as the Li-ion battery anode. The morphology change through cycles indicates stable 5-10 nm NPs form after the first lithiation remained throughout the cycling process. This NP-film battery made without binders and conductive additives shows high gravimetric (>830 mAh/g) and volumetric capacities (>2100 mAh/cm(3)) even after 50 cycles. Because similar films made from drop-casting do not perform well under equal conditions, EPD is seen as the critical step to create good contacts between the particles and electrodes resulting in this significant improvement in battery electrode assembly. This is a promising system for colloidal nanoparticles and a template for investigating the mechanism of lithiation and delithiation of NPs.

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