Zeolite-Templated Mesoporous Silicon Particles for Advanced Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes

For the practical use of high-capacity silicon anodes in high-energy lithium-based batteries, key issues arising from the large volume change of silicon during cycling must be addressed by the facile structural design of silicon. Herein, we discuss the zeolite-templated magnesiothermic reduction synthesis of mesoporous silicon (mpSi) (mpSi-Y, -B, and -Z derived from commercial zeolite Y, Beta, and ZSM-5, respectively) microparticles having large pore volume (0.4–0.5 cm3/g), wide open pore size (19–31 nm), and small primary silicon particles (20–35 nm). With these appealing mpSi particle structural features, a series of mpSi/C composites exhibit outstanding performance including excellent cycling stabilities for 500 cycles, high specific and volumetric capacities (1100–1700 mAh g–1 and 640–1000 mAh cm–3 at 100 mA g–1), high Coulombic efficiencies (approximately 100%), and remarkable rate capabilities, whereas conventional silicon nanoparticles (SiNP)/C demonstrate limited cycle life. These enhanced electrochemical responses of mpSi/C composites are further manifested by low impedance build-up, high Li ion diffusion rate, and small electrode thickness changes after cycling compared with those of SiNP/C composite. In addition to the outstanding electrochemical properties, the low-cost materials and high-yield processing make the mpSi/C composites attractive candidates for high-performance and high-energy Li-ion battery anodes.