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Canada found that silicon nanoparticles can increase the storage capacity of lithium batteries by 10 times

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The silicon materials has abundant resources. If Si and Li are combined in a Li4.4Si, their theoretical specific capacities can exceed 4200mAh/g. That is more than the amount of lithium-ion that is absorbed by current-generation lithium batteries. Therefore, it is thought to have the potential to be used for the manufacture large-capacity battery production. Two aspects are involved in the current application of silicon materials to lithium-ion cells. To make a silicon carbon anode, one option is to add nanosilicon to the anode. To improve electrolyte performance, you can also add organosilicon compound to it.
University Alberta develops new silicon-based lithium batteries

Jillian Buriak is a Canadian chemist who discovered, recently, that silicon can be made into small particles by molding it.
A crystalline silica particle with a diameter less than 5 nanometers is called Nanosilicon. It’s an important, non-metal amorphous substance. The characteristics of nano silicon powder include high purity, small particle sizes, uniform distributions, large specific area, high bulk density and low surface activity. It’s also non-toxic. The wide variety of uses that nanosilicon can have is endless. For example, under high pressure, it can be mixed to form silicon carbide and diamond composite materials. These can then be used for cutting and combined with graphite to make silicon-carbon composites. It can be used as a negative electrode in lithium-ion cells to increase their capacity.

Four sizes of silicon particles were tested by the research team. This was done to find out which size maximizes silicon’s advantages while minimising its flaws. To compensate for silicon’s low conductivity, they are uniformly distributed in graphene aerogel that is high-conductive and made out of carbon.

It was found that particles smaller than one-half of a meter in size had the highest long-term stability, even with multiple charges or discharge cycles. This solves the problem of using silicon to make lithium-ion batteries. This breakthrough could result in new batteries that have a 10x increase in capacity than current lithium-ion battery models. It is an important step toward the production of new types of silicon-based batteries. Materials Chemistry published the research results.

The importance of the layout of the lithium anode industry chain for the hundreds of billions of dollars of silicon market

These findings have broad applications, particularly in electric vehicle design. They can increase the range of electric vehicles and make them lighter, faster charging, more efficient, and last longer. It is now possible to create silicon nanoparticles faster and for less money, which will make it easier to be used in industrial production.

New energy vehicles require lithium-ion battery with higher energy density. It is now the preferred choice to use high-nickel ternary materials as the positive electrode. Silicon and its Composite materials, however, are currently the most promising and popular negative electrode materials. In the future, lithium batteries that utilize silicon for their negative electrode will offer longer life and better energy storage in new vehicles.

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