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Composite is an innovative composite material made out of Black phosphorus (BP) and graphite. Due to its high conductivity (both electronic and ionic) and theoretical capacity, Black phosphorus makes a good anode material. It is important to understand the redox reactions that occur between BP and alkali-metal ions in order to determine the limitations and potential of BP. This will guide the development of composites based on BP for high-performance, alkali-metal-ion batteries.
Scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China’s Professor Ji Hengxing published a research result in “Science” a few weeks ago. They made a significant breakthrough in their research of lithium-ion electrode materials.
Ji Hengxing stated that “if we use this technology, we may be able fully charge an electrical car in around 10 minutes and travel about 500 kilometers.” The charging time of electric cars has always been a major problem. Electric vehicles are currently “waiting” an hour before they can drive 500 km. The electric vehicle industry has always sought to create large-capacity, lithium-ion battery packs with fast charging capability.
The material of the electrode is an important factor when determining battery performance indicators. If you wish to increase battery charging speed you must use a material which has a quick electrochemical reaction. It is important to check if the electrode material can conduct electrons andions. Ji Hingxing, a member of the research group, said that they hope to find an electrode material capable of meeting the industry’s expectations for comprehensive performance indicators and also adapting to the industrial production process.
Dr. Hongchang Jin was the first author to introduce the thesis. He said, “Energy enters or exits the batteries through the chemical reactions between lithium ions, and electrode materials. Determining the charging rate is based on the conductivity between the electrode materials and lithium ions. It is important to consider the amount.”
The Jixingxing research team discovered that black phosphorus was a good choice. It has a very high theoretical capacity, only second to single-crystal lithium or metallic silicon. Second, because it is a semi-conductor, its ability to conduct electronic currents is strong. Thirdly, the layered structure of black phosphorus allows lithium ions to be easily transported between the layers. This excellent property makes black phosphorus an electrode material which can be used to fast charge lithium-ion batteries.
Black phosphorus (an allotrope to white phosphorus) is an excellent electrode material for fast charging. Nevertheless, current studies found that the performance indicators for black phosphorus are not as good as expected. Black phosphorus can be damaged by the edges of the layered structures, and its measured performance is lower than expected. Ji Xingxing adopted the “interface-engineering” strategy to connect graphite and black phosphorus through phosphorus carbon covalent bonds. This made the structure more stable and allowed lithium ions into the black phosphorus to be easier.
“Under the interface optimizing of these two layers, this black-phosphorous composite material achieved a breakthrough performance.” Ji Hingxing told the media.
“We use traditional process routes and parameters to convert the black-phosphorous composite material to the electrode sheet. The laboratory measurements show that after 9 minutes, the electrode sheet recovers about 80% and after 2000 cycles it still retains 90%. Xin, the cofirst author of the article and a researcher from the Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences said that if mass-production of this material is possible, matching cathode products and other auxiliary substances can be found, then the optimized design should achieve an energy density of 350 Wh. It has a lithium ion battery that can be charged quickly and is capable of delivering 350 Wh/Kg. The battery will enable electric vehicles with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and increase their user experience.
Jixingxing will continue its exploration in the areas of basic research, scale preparation technology and other related fields. For battery technology to advance and for electric vehicles and consumer electronics to develop, it’s important that we have a deep understanding of scientific fundamentals, including the microstructure of electrode materials and their physical and chemical properties. “We have a long way to go before we can achieve this vision. But, we’re full of optimism for the future.” Ji Hengxing spoke.
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