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Researchers use self-healing composite polymer binder to boost performance of silicon anodes

Researchers at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have improved the performance of silicon anodes in LIBs using a self-healing composite polymer binder for the silicon particles. The new binder improves stability and maintains a thin SEI layer. The results of the study are published in ACS Applied Energy Materials.

The binder is a polymer composite consisting of an n-type conducting polymer poly(bisiminoacenaphthenequinone) (P-BIAN) and a carboxylate-containing polymer poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), each linked to the other via hydrogen bonds.

The composite polymer structure holds the silicon particles together like a net and prevents them from rupturing. The hydrogen bonds between the two polymers permit the structure to self-repair, as the polymers can reattach themselves if they break away at any point. Moreover, the n-doping ability of P-BIAN improves the conductivity of the anode and maintains a thin SEI by limiting the electrolytic decomposition of the electrolyte on the anode.


Gupta et al.

To test the binder, the researchers constructed an anodic half-cell consisting of silicon nanoparticles with graphite (Si/C), the binder (P-BIAN/PAA) and an acetylene black (AB) conductive additive. The Si/C/(P-BIAN/PAA)/AB anode was put through a repeated charge-discharge cycle.

The P-BIAN/PAA binder was observed to stabilize the silicon anode and maintain a specific discharge capacity of 2100 mAh g-1 for more than 600 cycles. In contrast, the capacity of the bare silicon-carbon anode dropped to 600 mAh g-1 within 90 cycles.

After the test, the researchers disassembled the anode and examined the material for any cracks that might have resulted from silicon rupture. A spectroscopic and microscopic examination after 400 cycles revealed a smooth structure with only a few microcracks indicating that the addition of the binder was able to improve the structural integrity of the electrode and maintain a uniform SEI.

The results demonstrate that the addition of the binder can improve the characteristics of the silicon anode and make it practically feasible.

As the demand for lithium-ion batteries increases, silicon, which is the eighth-most abundant material on earth, will be a promising environment-friendly alternative to graphite. The improvements to its structural stability and its conductivity with the use of binders will make it more suitable for use in future lithium-ion batteries.

This composite binder design principle will enable wider diffusion of EVs, creation of other battery driven vehicles, and drones, which requires a higher energy density for advanced performance.

—Prof. Noriyoshi Matsumi, corresponding author


  • Agman Gupta, Rajashekar Badam, and Noriyoshi Matsumi (2022) “Heavy-Duty Performance from Silicon Anodes Using Poly(BIAN)/Poly(acrylic acid)-Based Self-Healing Composite Binder in Lithium-Ion Secondary Batteries” ACS Applied Energy Materials doi: 10.1021/acsaem.2c00278



The future is looking bright for Lithium Silicone and Lithium Sulfur for very high energy density with recent innovations providing stable long cycle life at high capacities. See the recent Sulfur anode announcements from U of M utilizing aramid nano fiber separators.

The path to 800-1000 wh/kg batteries within the next couple years is looking very possible! 1000wh/kg batteries enable the total transformation of air transportation.

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