Fabrication and Optimization of Carbon Nanomaterial-Based Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes
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Lithium-ion batteries possess high energy and power densities, making them ideal candidates for energy storage requirements in various military applications. Commercially produced lithium-ion battery anodes are commonly graphitic carbon-based. However, graphitic carbons are limited in surface area and possess slow intercalation kinetics. The energy and power density demands of future technologies require improved lithium-ion battery performance. Carbon nanomaterials, such as carbide-derived carbons, carbon onions and carbon nanotubes, used in lithium-ion battery electrodes can exhibit a much higher specific capacity (up to 1000 mAh/g) and faster charge/discharge characteristics than their graphitic carbon counterpart, which has a specific capacity of 372 mAh/g. However, little is known about how certain characteristics, such as structure and surface chemistry, for example, of carbon nanomaterials affect the electrochemical performance of lithium-ion batteries. Further investigation is necessary to fully understand the governing storage mechanism. A comprehensive analysis of the electrochemical performance of new anode materials, which includes a wide range of tests, requires the ability to fabricate a large number of electrodes and batteries of nearly identical quality. Thus, the optimization of the individual cell production steps is a crucial requirement for a comprehensive study of the electrochemical properties of new anode materials and is central to this research.
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