Ultrathin conformal polycyclosiloxane films to improve silicon cycling stability

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Science Advances  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw4856
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw4856


Electrochemical reduction of lithium ion battery electrolyte on Si anodes was mitigated by synthesizing nanoscale, conformal polymer films as artificial solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layers. Initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) was used to deposit poly(1,3,5,7-tetravinyl-1,3,5,7-tetramethylcyclotetrasiloxane) (pV4D4) onto silicon thin film electrodes. pV4D4 films (25 nm) on Si electrodes improved initial coulombic efficiency by 12.9% and capacity retention over 100 cycles by 64.9% relative to untreated electrodes. pV4D4 coatings improved rate capabilities, enabling higher lithiation capacity at all current densities. Impedance spectroscopy showed that SEI resistance grew from 50 to 191 ohms in untreated Si and only 34 to 90 ohms in pV4D4-coated Si over 30 cycles. Post-cycling Fourier transform infrared and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that pV4D4 moderated electrolyte reduction and altered SEI composition, with LiF formation being favored. This work will guide further development of polymeric artificial SEIs to mitigate electrolyte reduction and enhance capacity retention in Si electrodes.

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