South Korean researchers have developed a new way to integrate a lithium metal anode into a battery and achieve higher energy capacity levels than current lithium-ion technology. They worked with lithium-infused carbon fiber paper with an energy density of 428 Wh/kg, as well as stability and possible fabrication.
Researchers are pursuing different strategies to overcome the challenge posed by lithium metal, and a team led by South Korea’s Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology and Jeonbuk National University has proposed an approach that appears to offer several advantages. The group has been working with carbon fiber paper to replace copper foil, which is commonly used to form the lithium metal anode structure.
The team made carbon fiber with polymer binders and used a 3D frame infused with lithium metal. The preparation is fully described in the recently published article Construction of Hierarchical Surface on Carbon Fiber Paper for Lithium Metal Batteries with Superior Stability Advanced energy materials.
Batteries developed with a carbon fiber/lithium metal anode achieved a high specific energy of 428 Wh/kg.
“Given the five times lower density and lower cost of carbon fiber compared to copper, our proposed anode material is an important achievement that can accelerate the commercialization of durable and lightweight lithium metal batteries,” said Sung-Ho Lee, director of Carbon Composite. Research Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.
Further experiments showed that during cycling, the lithium coated the carbon fiber without forming dendrites due to the formation of an inorganic solid electrolyte phase layer. Full battery cells made with anodes retained 85% of their original capacity after 300 cycles. The team says it plans to continue working on this approach, which could provide a simplified solution for integrating lithium metal into energy storage.
“We believe that our advanced strategy, which differs from previously reported technologies, such as adding new and toxic additives to electrolytes and modifying the surface morphology by complex methods, enables the realization of a highly stable LMA with excellent electrochemical performance for use as practical energy storage fields to replace conventional LiBs” , the group concluded.