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Develop low-cost silicon synthesis technology


Previously, the cathode material on lithium-ion batteries was mainly graphite. However, the demand for large-capacity batteries such as electric vehicles continues to grow, and there is an urgent need for alternative materials with larger capacity. Therefore, silicon has also attracted attention. This is because the capacity of silicon is higher than that of graphite. More than 10 times larger.

Develop low-cost silicon synthesis technology

There are many ways to synthesize silicon at present, but the most commonly used is called "reducing silicon dioxide by metal", but this method requires a high temperature of hundreds of degrees or more, and it is difficult to produce silicon in large quantities.

This time the research team used the name "metal halide catalyst" to chemically react silicon with metal, which can produce silicon even at lower temperatures. Explain the mechanism of low-temperature synthesis process through atomic simulation. The metal halide catalyst can accelerate the reaction between metal and carbon dioxide and reduce the reaction energy, thereby easily synthesizing silicon.

The metal halide has a low melting point and can be deoxygenated from silicon dioxide to reduce the temperature of the reduction reaction. By directly participating in the reduction reaction, the rate of silicon formation is accelerated. From the point of view of the atomic unit mechanism, in fact, silicon can be produced at a lower reaction temperature, which will help the mass production of silicon cathode materials.

The research team used silicon prepared by the low-temperature synthesis method as the cathode material of the battery, and conducted charging and discharging tests over hundreds of times. The electrochemical performance is still very stable.

Real-time observation through in-situ transmission electron microscopy found that low-temperature synthesized silicon has structural stability and is particularly suitable for the second-generation cathode material. By clarifying the mechanism of metal halide synthesis, it will provide sufficient theoretical basis for low-temperature synthesis of silicon. Metal halides can not only promote metal melting, but also have a great effect on the structure of silicon. It is also expected to be applied to the reduction reaction of other metal oxides in the future.

Link to this article: Develop low-cost silicon synthesis technology

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