Improving one property without sacrificing others is challenging for lithium-ion batteries due to the trade-off nature among key parameters. Here we report a chemical vapor deposition process to grow a graphene–silica assembly, called a graphene ball. Its hierarchical three-dimensional structure with the silicon oxide nanoparticle center allows even 1 wt% graphene ball to be uniformly coated onto a nickel-rich layered cathode via scalable Nobilta milling. The graphene-ball coating improves cycle life and fast charging capability by suppressing detrimental side reactions and providing efficient conductive pathways. The graphene ball itself also serves as an anode material with a high specific capacity of 716.2 mAh g−1. A full-cell incorporating graphene balls increases the volumetric energy density by 27.6% compared to a control cell without graphene balls, showing the possibility of achieving 800 Wh L−1 in a commercial cell setting, along with a high cyclability of 78.6% capacity retention after 500 cycles at 5C and 60 °C.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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