The success story of graphite as a lithium-ion anode material – fundamentals, remaining challenges, and recent developments including silicon (oxide) composites
Lithium-ion batteries are nowadays playing a pivotal role in our everyday life thanks to their excellent rechargeability, suitable power density, and outstanding energy density. A key component that has paved the way for this success story in the past almost 30 years is graphite, which has served as a lithium-ion host structure for the negative electrode. And despite extensive research efforts to find suitable alternatives with enhanced power and/or energy density, while maintaining the excellent cycling stability, graphite is still used in the great majority of presently available commercial lithium-ion batteries. A comprehensive review article focusing on graphite as lithium-ion intercalation host, however, appeared to be missing so far. Thus, herein, we provide an overview on the relevant fundamental aspects for the de-/lithiation mechanism, the already overcome and remaining challenges (including, for instance, the potential fast charging and the recycling), as well as recent progress in the field such as the trade-off between relatively cheaper natural graphite and comparably purer synthetic graphite and the introduction of relevant amounts of silicon (oxide) to boost the energy and power density. The latter, in fact, comes with its own challenges and the different approaches to overcome these in graphite/silicon (oxide) composites are discussed herein as well.