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Title: Bending-induced Symmetry Breaking of Lithiation in Germanium Nanowires

From signal transduction of living cells to oxidation and corrosion of metals, mechanical stress intimately couples with chemical reactions, regulating these biological and physiochemical processes. The coupled effect is particularly evident in electrochemical lithiation/delithiation cycling of high-capacity electrodes, such as silicon (Si), where on one hand lithiation-generated stress mediates lithiation kinetics, and on the other electrochemical reaction rate regulates stress generation and mechanical failure of the electrodes. Here we report for the first time the evidence on the controlled lithiation in germanium nanowires (GeNWs) through external bending. Contrary to the symmetric core-shell lithiation in free-standing GeNWs, we show bending GeNWs breaks the lithiation symmetry, speeding up lithaition at the tensile side while slowing down at the compressive side of the GeNWs. The bending-induced symmetry breaking of lithiation in GeNWs is further corroborated by chemomechanical modeling. In the light of the coupled effect between lithiation kinetics and mechanical stress in the electrochemical cycling, our findings shed light on strain/stress engineering of durable high-rate electrodes and energy harvesting through mechanical motion.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Nano Letters, 14(8):4622-4627
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory