Enabling scale-up of mesoporous silicon for lithium-ion batteries: a systematic study of a thermal moderator
The volume expansion of silicon during cycling of a lithium-ion battery (LIB) leads to degradation and capacity loss. Porous silicon can address many of the issues faced by silicon active materials and has previously been shown to have excellent cyclability. Recently we have uncovered the mechanisms underpinning the pore evolution in magnesiothermic reduction (MgTR) of silica and further demonstrated that it has the potential to produce porous silicon in a scalable and economic manner [J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, 8, 4938]. However, the scalability of MgTR is affected by the large excess heat produced during reaction. Although previous studies have shown that NaCl can be used as a thermal moderator to mitigate this issue, this has not been systematically investigated, leading to a lack of knowledge on scalability of MgTR. Here, by carefully investigating the roles of NaCl, we show that the NaCl ratio and reduction temperature are the critical factors for controlling scale-up and the product properties. We identified the upper temperature limit of NaCl as a thermal moderator. Further, we systematically showed how the amount of NaCl and the reduction temperature affect the porous properties of the product silicon. Our results have established pathways for scaling-up this method such that it can now be taken forward to target specific porous silicon properties.