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Selective crystallization with preferred lithium-ion storage capability of inorganic materials

Fei Liu12, Shuyan Song1, Dongfeng Xue12* and Hongjie Zhang1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Resource Utilization, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5625 Renmin Street, Changchun, 130022, People's Republic of China

2 School of Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116024, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:149  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-149

Published: 21 February 2012

Abstract

Lithium-ion batteries are supposed to be a key method to make a more efficient use of energy. In the past decade, nanostructured electrode materials have been extensively studied and have presented the opportunity to achieve superior performance for the next-generation batteries which require higher energy and power densities and longer cycle life. In this article, we reviewed recent research activities on selective crystallization of inorganic materials into nanostructured electrodes for lithium-ion batteries and discuss how selective crystallization can improve the electrode performance of materials; for example, selective exposure of surfaces normal to the ionic diffusion paths can greatly enhance the ion conductivity of insertion-type materials; crystallization of alloying-type materials into nanowire arrays has proven to be a good solution to the electrode pulverization problem; and constructing conversion-type materials into hollow structures is an effective approach to buffer the volume variation during cycling. The major goal of this review is to demonstrate the importance of crystallization in energy storage applications.

Keywords:
crystallization; lithium-ion battery; nanowire; hollow structure; nanocomposites.