Fraunhofer Researchers Develop Porous Silicon Layers for More Efficient Lithium-Ion Batteries

September 13, 2019 Alix Paultre

Recently as part of the PoSiBat project (funding reference 100275833), Fraunhofer FEP scientists were able to develop a non-toxic manufacturing process for porous silicon layers. Currently, there are many research activities worldwide for developing new materials and alternative manufacturing processes in order to improve battery performance, especially for mobile devices and electromobility.

Within the project PoSiBat, a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly process was developed for fabricating porous silicon layers as anode material. The replacement of currently-used graphite materials by silicon promises an almost tenfold increase in the specific charging capacity of the anode. However, the charging and discharging process leads to an enormous change in volume of the silicon, and therefore to a rapid mechanical and electrochemical destruction of the material compound.

The porous silicon layers show an encouraging battery performance, which is demonstrated by an initial charging capacity of more than 3,000 mAh/gSi and a comparably good cycle stability.

The expertise of the Fraunhofer FEP lies in the coating of metal substrates and foils with zinc and silicon, which is possible with very high coating rates in conventional non-toxic vacuum processes. These processes enable high throughput and low manufacturing costs. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, the electrochemical properties of the porous coatings were characterized.

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