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There are abundant reserves of silicon. Si and Li can be combined to form a Li4.4Si, resulting in a theoretical specific energy of 4200mAh/g. That is almost ten-times higher than that absorbed by a lithium-ion battery currently used. In the present day, silicon materials are used in lithium-ion cells primarily for two reasons. One way is to add nano-silicon to anode materials to form a carbon-silicon anode. To improve the performance, organosilicon compounds can be added to the electrolyte.
The University Alberta created a new generation silicon-based lithium battery

Jillian Biriak and her team at the University of Alberta (Canada) discovered recently that molding silicon in nano-sized particle helps to keep it from breaking.
Nano-silicon can be defined as crystalline particles of silicon that have a diameter less than five nanometers. It is an important amorphous non-metal. Nano silicon powder is non-toxic, odorless, has small particles and uniform distribution. It has high purity and high surface activity. Nano-silicon can have a variety of uses: It can be mixed under high pressure with a diamond to produce silicon carbide-diamond materials that can be cut with, or combined with graphite material to create silicon-carbon composites. The negative electrode material in lithium-ion cells increases the battery’s capacity. This material can be combined with organic matter to create organic silicon polymer.

The team studied and tested four sizes of nanoparticles of silicon to determine which size would maximize its advantages while minimizing the disadvantages. They are evenly dispersed in a graphene-carbon aerogel with nanopores that compensates for the low conductivity.

After multiple cycles of charge and discharge, they found that particles as small as one part per meter showed the most stability. This eliminates the limitations of using silicon for lithium-ion cells. This discovery could result in batteries that have 10 times more capacity than the current lithium-ion battery. It’s a major step toward the manufacture of new lithium-ion lithium batteries based on silicon. The research findings were published in the journal Materials Chemistry.

The lithium battery industry’s chain of the silicon anode market is worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars

This research can be applied in many fields, including electric vehicles. The batteries will become lighter, travel longer and charge faster. The next step will be to create a method that is faster and cheaper to produce silicon nanoparticles. This will make it easier for industrial production.

Other than new energy vehicles, the need for lithium-ion battery with higher energy and power density is also present in the areas of energy storage and ships. It is now common to use high nickel ternary material as the positive electrode, while silicon or its composites are the most promising materials for the negative electrode.

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