Nanoconfined NaAlH 4 Conversion Electrodes for Li Batteries

ACS Omega. 2017 May 10;2(5):1956-1967. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.7b00143. eCollection 2017 May 31.


In the past, sodium alanate, NaAlH4, has been widely investigated for its capability to store hydrogen, and its potential for improving storage properties through nanoconfinement in carbon scaffolds has been extensively studied. NaAlH4 has recently been considered for Li-ion storage as a conversion-type anode in Li-ion batteries. Here, NaAlH4 nanoconfined in carbon scaffolds as an anode material for Li-ion batteries is reported for the first time. Nanoconfined NaAlH4 was prepared by melt infiltration into mesoporous carbon scaffolds. In the first cycle, the electrochemical reversibility of nanoconfined NaAlH4 was improved from around 30 to 70% compared to that of nonconfined NaAlH4. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that nanoconfinement alters the conversion pathway, and operando powder X-ray diffraction showed that the conversion from NaAlH4 into Na3AlH6 is favored over the formation of LiNa2AlH6. The electrochemical reactivity of the carbon scaffolds has also been investigated to study their contribution to the overall capacity of the electrodes.