Silicon nanowires (SiNWs) for use as lithium-ion battery (LIB) anode materials have been studied for their one-dimensional (1D) properties and ability to accommodate large volume changes and avoid rapid capacity fading during cycling. Although the vertical transfer of SiNWs from their original substrate onto a conducting electrode is very important, to date, there has been no report of a direct integration method without polymer binders. Here, we propose for the first time a vertical transfer method for SiNWs grown on a Si substrate directly to the current-collecting electrode without using a polymer adhesive for the use as a binder-free LIB anode. The vertical SiNWs produced using a low-cost wafer-scale metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE) process have been successfully transferred directly to a copper electrode coated with a thin Ag layer by using a simple hot pressing method. When evaluated as an LIB anode without using conventional polymeric binder and a conducting additive, the transferred vertically aligned SiNWs showed a high specific capacity (≈2150 mAh g−1) and excellent rate performance. It is believed that the anode-manufacturing process is simple and fast, thus enabling a large-scale production that is of low-cost, broadly applicable, and provides new avenues for the rational engineering of Si-based electrode materials with enhanced power density and conductivity.
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