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Nat Chem. 2013 Dec;5(12):1042-8. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1802. Epub 2013 Nov 17.

Self-healing chemistry enables the stable operation of silicon microparticle anodes for high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

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1] Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, California 94305, USA [2].


The ability to repair damage spontaneously, which is termed self-healing, is an important survival feature in nature because it increases the lifetime of most living creatures. This feature is highly desirable for rechargeable batteries because the lifetime of high-capacity electrodes, such as silicon anodes, is shortened by mechanical fractures generated during the cycling process. Here, inspired by nature, we apply self-healing chemistry to silicon microparticle (SiMP) anodes to overcome their short cycle-life. We show that anodes made from low-cost SiMPs (~3-8 ┬Ám), for which stable deep galvanostatic cycling was previously impossible, can now have an excellent cycle life when coated with a self-healing polymer. We attain a cycle life ten times longer than state-of-art anodes made from SiMPs and still retain a high capacity (up to ~3,000 mA h g(-1)). Cracks and damage in the coating during cycling can be healed spontaneously by the randomly branched hydrogen-bonding polymer used.


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