Low-Cost Fabrication of Silicon Nanowires by Molten Salt Electrolysis and Their Electrochemical Performances as Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes
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The molten salt electrolytic method was introduced to prepare metallic silicon that simply utilizes SiO2 powder as the raw material and equimolar CaCl2-NaCl as the electrolyte under 1.8 V current at 700°C for 5 h. The electrochemically synthesized silicon was in the form of nanowire structures with average sizes of 90 nm in diameter and over 1 μm in length. The current efficiency and specific energy consumption of producing silicon nanowires were calculated to be 79.2% and 8.703 kWh/kg, respectively. Benefiting from the synthesized nanowire structure, the silicon anode exhibited a high initial discharge-specific capacity of 3348.1 mAh/g with an initial coulombic efficiency of 85.2%. The present research provides a straightforward idea to show the feasibility of synthesizing silicon-based material by the molten salt electrolytic method and to introduce the application of synthesized silicon nanowires to lithium-ion battery systems.
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Nos. 51804148, 51764029) and the Applied Basic Research Plan of Yunnan Province (No. 2018FD038).