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Surface Fluorination of Reactive Battery Anode Materials for Enhanced Stability

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journal contribution
posted on 26.07.2017, 00:00 by Jie Zhao, Lei Liao, Feifei Shi, Ting Lei, Guangxu Chen, Allen Pei, Jie Sun, Kai Yan, Guangmin Zhou, Jin Xie, Chong Liu, Yuzhang Li, Zheng Liang, Zhenan Bao, Yi Cui
Significant increases in the energy density of batteries must be achieved by exploring new materials and cell configurations. Lithium metal and lithiated silicon are two promising high-capacity anode materials. Unfortunately, both of these anodes require a reliable passivating layer to survive the serious environmental corrosion during handling and cycling. Here we developed a surface fluorination process to form a homogeneous and dense LiF coating on reactive anode materials, with in situ generated fluorine gas, by using a fluoropolymer, CYTOP, as the precursor. The process is effectively a “reaction in the beaker”, avoiding direct handling of highly toxic fluorine gas. For lithium metal, this LiF coating serves as a chemically stable and mechanically strong interphase, which minimizes the corrosion reaction with carbonate electrolytes and suppresses dendrite formation, enabling dendrite-free and stable cycling over 300 cycles with current densities up to 5 mA/cm2. Lithiated silicon can serve as either a pre-lithiation additive for existing lithium-ion batteries or a replacement for lithium metal in Li–O2 and Li–S batteries. However, lithiated silicon reacts vigorously with the standard slurry solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (NMP), indicating it is not compatible with the real battery fabrication process. With the protection of crystalline and dense LiF coating, LixSi can be processed in anhydrous NMP with a high capacity of 2504 mAh/g. With low solubility of LiF in water, this protection layer also allows LixSi to be stable in humid air (∼40% relative humidity). Therefore, this facile surface fluorination process brings huge benefit to both the existing lithium-ion batteries and next-generation lithium metal batteries.

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