Three-dimensional metal scaffold supported bicontinuous silicon battery anodes

Huigang Zhang, Paul V. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Silicon-based lithium ion battery anodes are attracting significant attention because of silicon's exceptionally high lithium capacity. However, silicon's large volume change during cycling generally leads to anode pulverization unless the silicon is dispersed throughout a matrix in nanoparticulate form. Because pulverization results in a loss of electric connectivity, the reversible capacity of most silicon anodes dramatically decays within a few cycles. Here we report a three-dimensional (3D) bicontinuous silicon anode formed by depositing a layer of silicon on the surface of a colloidal crystal templated porous nickel metal scaffold, which maintains electrical connectivity during cycling due to the scaffold. The porous metal framework serves to both impart electrical conductivity to the anode and accommodate the large volume change of silicon upon lithiation and delithiation. The initial capacity of the bicontinuous silicon anode is 3568 (silicon basis) and 1450 mAh g -1 (including the metal framework) at 0.05C. After 100 cycles at 0.3C, 85% of the capacity remains. Compared to a foil-supported silicon film, the 3D bicontinuous silicon anode exhibits significantly improved mechanical stability and cycleability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2778-2783
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 13 2012


  • 3D porous metal
  • current collector
  • rechargeable battery
  • scaffold
  • Silicon anode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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