Virus enabled Si Anodes for Li-ion Batteries
Si has a nearly ten-fold increase in capacity over current graphite anodes, but suffers from poor cycling stability due to large volume changes during lithiation/delithiation cycles. In this study, I (the corresponding author) collaborated with Prof. James Culver at the Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology Research and Prof. Reza Ghodssi in the ECE Department to develop a novel, three-dimensional tobacco mosaic virus assembled silicon anode. We demonstrated that metal coatings on patterned TMV1cys templates can be used as 3-D current collectors, and that Si nanowire anodes can be deposited on patterned 3-D current collectors using sputtering (Figure 1) and electrodeposition. Unlike previously reported methodologies that utilized biological templates for the synthesis of nanomaterials and relied on powder mixing and ink casting for the electrode fabrication, the method presented in this study involves the direct fabrication of a nanostructured silicon electrode. Every silicon nanowire is connected to the patterned current collector, resulting in a high capacity, long cycling stability, and a high rate capability. The findings were published in ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials and Electrochimica Acta. This research has been highlighted on the USNews, the DOE website, USNBC, Discovery, and many other news outlets in the US and Europe.