Silicon is capable of delivering a high theoretical specific capacity of 3579 mAh g−1 which is about 10 times higher than that of the state-of-the-art graphite based negative electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. However, the poor cycle life of silicon electrodes, caused by the large volumetric strain during cycling, limits the commercialization of silicon electrodes. As one of the essential components, the polymeric binder is critical to the performance and durability of lithium-ion batteries as it keeps the integrity of electrodes, maintains conductive path and must be stable in the electrolyte. In this work, we demonstrate that electrodes consisting of silicon nanoparticles mixed with commercially available Nafion and ion-exchanged Nafion can maintain a high specific capacity over 2000 mAh g−1 cycled between 1.0 V and 0.01 V. For comparison, the capacity of electrodes made of the same silicon nanoparticles mixed with a traditional binder, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), fades rapidly. In addition, stable cycling at 1C rate for more than 500 cycles is achieved by limiting the lithiation capacity to 1200 mAh g−1.

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Published in Journal of The Electrochemical Society, v. 163, issue 3, p. A401-A405.

© The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse of the work in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Financial support from National Science Foundation (Award number: 1355438, Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future) is gratefully acknowledged.