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Title: In-Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Probing of Native Oxide and Artificial Layers on Silicon Nanoparticles for Lithium Ion Batteries

Surface modification of silicon nanoparticle via molecular layer deposition (MLD) has been recently proved to be an effective way for dramatically enhancing the cyclic performance in lithium ion batteries. However, the fundamental mechanism as how this thin layer of coating function is not known, which is even complicated by the inevitable presence of native oxide of several nanometers on the silicon nanoparticle. Using in-situ TEM, we probed in detail the structural and chemical evolution of both uncoated and coated silicon particles upon cyclic lithiation/delithation. We discovered that upon initial lithiation, the native oxide layer converts to crystalline Li2O islands, which essentially increases the impedance on the particle, resulting in ineffective lithiation/delithiation, and therefore low coulombic efficiency. In contrast, the alucone MLD coated particles show extremely fast, thorough and highly reversible lithiation behaviors, which are clarified to be associated with the mechanical flexibility and fast Li+/e- conductivity of the alucone coating. Surprisingly, the alucone MLD coating process chemically changes the silicon surface, essentially removing the native oxide layer and therefore mitigates side reaction and detrimental effects of the native oxide. This study provides a vivid picture of how the MLD coating works to enhance the coulombic efficiency and preserve capacity andmore » clarifies the role of the native oxide on silicon nanoparticles during cyclic lithiation and delithiation. More broadly, this work also demonstrated that the effect of the subtle chemical modification of the surface during the coating process may be of equal importance as the coating layer itself.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
46198; 47414; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: ACS Nano, 8(11):11816-11823
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Lithium ion battery, silicon nanoparticle, coating, native oxide, aluminum glycerol, in situ TEM; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory