Unveiling the critical role of polymeric binders for silicon negative electrodes in lithium-ion full cells

Jiagang Xu, Long Zhang, Yikai Wang, Tao Chen, Mohanad Al-Shroofy, Yang Tse Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Because of its natural abundance and high theoretical specific capacity (3579 mAh g-1, based on Li15Si4), silicon and its composites have been extensively studied as the negative electrode for future high energy density lithium-ion batteries. While rapid failure due to the significant volumetric strain of lithium-silicon reactions makes bulk silicon unsuitable for practical applications, silicon nanoparticles can sustain the large volume changes without fracturing. However, polymeric binders are usually required to maintain the structural integrity of electrodes made of particles. Recent lithium-ion half-cell tests have shown that lithium ionexchanged Nafion (designated as Li-Nafion) and sodium alginate are highly promising binders for nanoparticle silicon electrodes. Nevertheless, there is scant information on the performance and durability of these electrodes in full cell tests which are likely to reveal the role of binders under more realistic conditions. This work focuses on understanding the role of various binders in lithium-ion full cells consisting of Si negative electrode and LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 positive electrode. This study demonstrates, possibly for the first time, that silicon nanoparticles with either Li-Nafion or sodium alginate as binder can maintain a constant capacity of 1200 mAh g-1 for more than 100 cycles. In addition, during deep charge/discharge cycling, silicon electrodes containing Li-Nafion, Nafion, and sodium alginate can exhibit better capacity retention and higher specific capacity than that of silicon electrodes using polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as a binder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3562-3569
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Science Foundation (Award number 1355438, Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • Full cell
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Nmc
  • Polymer binder
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)


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