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The effect of particle-size distribution on the electrochemical performance of a red phosphorus-carbon composite anode for sodium-ion batteries

DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.9b00385 DOI Help

Authors: Isaac Capone (University of Oxford) , Kevin Hurlbutt (University of Oxford) , Andrew J. Naylor (Uppsala University) , Albert Xiao (University of Oxford) , Mauro Pasta (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Energy & Fuels

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18974

Abstract: Sodium-ion batteries will have an important role as a complement to lithium-ion in a future where lithium or cobalt, two critical elements for lithium-ion batteries, become scarce or prohibitively expensive. Their implementation depends on the development of high-performing electrode materials based on inexpensive precursors and scalable methods. Phosphorus is a promising candidate as an anode for sodium-ion batteries because of its low potential and high specific capacity. However, it has an extremely low electronic conductivity of 10-14 S cm-1. Furthermore, its 490% volume expansion on sodiation leads to particle pulverization, which substantially reduces the cycle life of the material. Current strategies for improving phosphorus anode performance have focused on synthesizing phosphorus-carbon composites to the exclusion of studying how to improve cycle life by controlling particle size. Here we report an inexpensive and scalable wet-milling method to reduce and tune the particle size of phosphorus to the nanoscale. Phosphorus-carbon composites prepared by ball milling the smallest phosphorus particles with graphite for 48 h delivered 1,354 mA h g-1 with high coulombic efficiency (>99%) and cyclability (88% capacity retention after 100 cycles). These results are an important step in the development of cyclable, high-capacity anodes for sodium-ion batteries.

Subject Areas: Materials, Chemistry, Energy

Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis