Review Article

Promises and challenges of nanomaterials for lithium-based rechargeable batteries

  • Nature Energy 1, Article number: 16071 (2016)
  • doi:10.1038/nenergy.2016.71
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Abstract

Tremendous progress has been made in the development of lithium-based rechargeable batteries in recent decades. Discoveries of new electrode materials as well as new storage mechanisms have substantially improved battery performance. In particular, nanomaterials design has emerged as a promising solution to tackle many fundamental problems in conventional battery materials. Here we discuss in detail several key issues in batteries, such as electrode volume change, solid–electrolyte interphase formation, electron and ion transport, and electrode atom/molecule movement, and then analyse the advantages presented by nanomaterials design. In addition, we discuss the challenges caused by using nanomaterials in batteries, including undesired parasitic reactions with electrolytes, low volumetric and areal energy density, and high costs from complex multi-step processing, and their possible solutions.

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Acknowledgements

Y.C. acknowledges the support from the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the US Department of Energy under the Battery Materials Research (BMR) Program, and the support from the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), an Energy Innovation Hub funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Yongming Sun
    • , Nian Liu
    •  & Yi Cui
  2. Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA.

    • Yi Cui

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yi Cui.