We report an amorphous boron nanorod anode material for lithium-ion batteries prepared through smelting non-toxic boron oxide in liquid lithium. Boron in theory can provide capacity as high as 3099 mAh g-1 by alloying with Li to form B4Li5. However, experimental studies of boron anode were rarely reported for room temperature lithium-ion batteries. Among the reported studies the electrochemical activity and cycling performance of bulk crystalline boron anode material are poor at room temperature. In this work, we utilized amorphous nanostructured one-dimensional (1D) boron material aiming at improving the electrochemical reactivity between boron and lithium ions at room temperature. The amorphous boron nanorod anode exhibited, at room temperature, a reversible capacity of 170 mAh g-1 at a current rate of 10 mA g-1 between 0.01 and 2 V. The anode also demonstrated good rate capability and cycling stability. Lithium storage mechanism was investigated by both sweep voltammetry measurements and galvanostatic intermittent titration technique (GITT). The sweep voltammetric analysis suggested that the contributions from lithium ions diffusion into boron as well as the capacitive process to the overall lithium charge storage are 57% and 43%, respectively. Results from GITT indicated that the discharge capacity at higher potentials (> ~ 0.2 V vs, Li/Li+) could be ascribed to a capacitive process and at lower potentials (< ~0.2 V vs, Li/Li+) to diffusion-controlled alloying reactions. Solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement further confirmed that the capacity is from electrochemical reactions between lithium ions and the amorphous boron nanorod. This work provides new insights into designing nanostructured boron material for lithium-ion batteries.
This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Nanoscale, published by Royal Society of Chemistry. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1039/C7NR03017G
Deng, Changjian; Lau, Miu Lun; Parrish, Riley; Smith, Kassiopeia A.; and Xiong, Hui. (2017). "Amorphous Boron Nanorod as an Anode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries at Room Temperature". Nanoscale, 9(30), 10757-10763.