Silicon clathrates consist of covalently bonded silicon polyhedral with cage structures that often contain guest ions. Research on silicon clathrates has traditionally been associated with studying their superconducting, and more recently, thermoelectric properties. The electrochemical behavior of silicon clathrates and their potential application in electrochemical energy storage devices such as rechargeable lithium, sodium, or magnesium-ion batteries has largely been overlooked. The research proposed here aims to fill this gap in knowledge by synthesizing and performing a detailed electrochemical and structural investigation of framework substituted silicon clathrates. The project aims are the synthesis and characterization of Li, Na, and Mg intercalated silicon clathrates and subsequent electrochemical characterization. Key objectives are to understand the electrochemical properties of these materials and how the structure affects those properties, as well as how the structure of the silicon clathrates changes upon electrochemical insertion of guest ions. Direct synthesis methods such as thermal and arc melting will be utilized to make framework substituted silicon clathrates, followed by electrochemical methods to insert and remove guest ions. Potential outcomes of the proposed research are: (1) the synthesis of new silicon clathrates doped with Li and Mg, (2) creation of fundamental knowledge regarding the electrochemistry of guest atom insertion and removal in silicon clathrate structures, (3) and understanding and correlating redox processes with structural changes in silicon clathrates. These outcomes have implications for the development of new anodes for Li, Na, and Mg-ion based rechargeable batteries.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/12 → 8/31/16|
- National Science Foundation (NSF): $390,000.00