Interpenetrated Gel Polymer Binder for High-Performance Silicon Anodes in Lithium-ion Batteries



Silicon has attracted ever-increasing attention as a high-capacity anode material in Li-ion batteries owing to its extremely high theoretical capacity. However, practical application of silicon anodes is seriously hindered by its fast capacity fading as a result of huge volume changes during the charge/discharge process. Here, an interpenetrated gel polymer binder for high-performance silicon anodes is created through in-situ crosslinking of water-soluble poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) precursors. This gel polymer binder with deformable polymer network and strong adhesion on silicon particles can effectively accommodate the large volume change of silicon anodes upon lithiation/delithiation, leading to an excellent cycling stability and high Coulombic efficiency even at high current densities. Moreover, high areal capacity of ∼4.3 mAh/cm2 is achieved based on the silicon anode using the gel PAA–PVA polymer binder with a high mass loading. In view of simplicity in using the water soluble gel polymer binder, it is believed that this novel binder has a great potential to be used for high capacity silicon anodes in next generation Li-ion batteries, as well as for other electrode materials with large volume change during cycling.