Development of Metallurgical Silicon Based Anode for High-Energy Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the dominant technology used to power today’s electric vehicles (EVs). However, current Li-ion batteries is reaching the bottleneck in the energy density, partially due to the limited capacity in the graphite anode (372 mAh g-1). In partnership with MGX Minerals Inc., Dr. Liu’s team at the University of British Columbia aims at developing a high-performance nanostructured Si anode for next-generation Li-ion batteries by using low-grade and large-abundant metallurgical Si as the starting material. The proposed project will develop a metal-assisted chemical etching to upgrade metallurgical Si into high-value nanostructured Si anode material, and innovate a hybrid organic-inorganic thin film by advanced molecular layer deposition technique to stabilize the solid-electrolyte interphase on Si anode The success of this project is expected to deliver nanostructured Si based anode with a specific capacity of 1,000 mAh g-1. This project will expand MGX’s business into Li-ion batteries, establish local supply chains for battery materials, and advance fundamental research in nanomaterials and surface/interface science.

Yue Zhang
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jian Liu
British Columbia
Partner University: