Self-Healing Conductive Materials and Their Use In Lithium Ion Battery to Enable More Stable Battery Electrodes
Zhenan Bao, Stanford University

The ability to spontaneously repair damage, which is termed as self-healing, is an important survival feature in nature because it increases the lifetime of most living creatures. This feature is highly desirable for rechargeable batteries because the lifetime of high-capacity electrodes, such as silicon anodes, has been shortened by the mechanical fractures generated during the cycling process. Here, inspired by nature, we apply self-healing chemistry to silicon microparticle anodes to overcome their short cycle life.

I will first describe how a self-healing conductor is made. This material is subsequently used as a coating in the lithium ion battery to help increase the lifetime of silicon anodes. Cracks and damage in the coating during cycling can be spontaneously healed due to the presence of the self-healing polymers.

Background Review Article:

Kemsley, Tamarra. Self-healing Electrode Could Pave Way for Next-generation Lithium Ion Batteries. Nature World News. November 19, 2013.

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