In the last few years, the flexible electrodes with high active materials loadings have attracted extensive attentions due to the increasing development of flexible and wearable electronic devices.
Generally, only the flexible 1D and 2D materials, such as carbon nanotube, carbon fiber, and graphene which can be intertwined or laminated with each other, have been applied as the body materials of flexible electrodes successfully. The 0D nano particles which are more diverse and cost-effective cannot be used as the main materials of the flexible electrodes yet.
The research group of Energy Storage Technology Research Department, which is led by ZHANG Huamin, LI Xianfeng and ZHANG Hongzhang from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has firstly prepared the flexible electrodes boased on 0-D nanoparticle with controllable shapes successfully. The preparation is via coupling phase inversion and freeze-drying methods. This work has been published on the Nano energy (Nano energy, 2017, 39, 418-428).
Schematic illustration of the formation process of as-prepared electrode and the assembled Li-S battery
This flexible and shapeable electrode presents an ultra-high sulfur loading which is 24 mgcm-2. After 100 cycles, the initial areal capacity and the capacity retention can achieve to 27.1 mAhcm-2 and 64.1%, respectively.
In addition, Li-ion battery electrodes based on 17 mgcm-2 0-D Li3V2(PO4)3(LVP) electrode could also be obtained. It can achieve an excellent C-rate performance and present good cycling stability, which are 94 mAhg-1 at 5C and nearly 100% capacity retention at 1C during 100 cycles.
This study further broadens the materials options for flexible electrodes and creates the conditions for the application of 0-D nanomaterials in flexible electrochemical energy storage devices.
The above research work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Collaborative Innovation Centre of Chemistry for Energy Materials of the Ministry of Education (iChEM), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Youth Innovation Foundation of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. (Text and Image by YANG Xiaofei)