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Epitaxial Welding of Carbon Nanotube Networks for Aqueous Battery Current Collectors.

Authors
  • Yao, Yonggang1
  • Jiang, Feng1
  • Yang, Chongyin2
  • Fu, Kun Kelvin1
  • Hayden, John1
  • Lin, Chuan-Fu1
  • Xie, Hua1
  • Jiao, Miaolun1
  • Yang, Chunpeng1
  • Wang, Yilin1
  • He, Shuaiming1
  • Xu, Fujun1
  • Hitz, Emily1
  • Gao, Tingting1
  • Dai, Jiaqi1
  • Luo, Wei1
  • Rubloff, Gary1
  • Wang, Chunsheng2
  • Hu, Liangbing1
  • 1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering , University of Maryland , College Park , Maryland 20742 , United States. , (United States)
  • 2 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering , University of Maryland , College Park , Maryland 20742 , United States. , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Nano
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
May 17, 2018
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b08584
PMID: 29757623
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Carbon nanomaterials are desirable candidates for lightweight, highly conductive, and corrosion-resistant current collectors. However, a key obstacle is their weak interconnection between adjacent nanostructures, which renders orders of magnitude lower electrical conductivity and mechanical strength in the bulk assemblies. Here we report an "epitaxial welding" strategy to engineer carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into highly crystalline and interconnected structures. Solution-based polyacrylonitrile was conformally coated on CNTs as "nanoglue" to physically join CNTs into a network, followed by a rapid high-temperature annealing (>2800 K, overall ∼30 min) to graphitize the polymer coating into crystalline layers that also bridge the adjacent CNTs to form an interconnected structure. The contact-welded CNTs (W-CNTs) exhibit both a high conductivity (∼1500 S/cm) and a high tensile strength (∼120 MPa), which are 5 and 20 times higher than the unwelded CNTs, respectively. In addition, the W-CNTs display chemical and electrochemical stabilities in strong acidic/alkaline electrolytes (>6 mol/L) when potentiostatically stressing at both cathodic and anodic potentials. With these exceptional properties, the W-CNT films are optimal as high-performance current collectors and were demonstrated in the state-of-the-art aqueous battery using a "water-in-salt" electrolyte.

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