What is Black Phosphorus Graphite Composite?

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Black Phosphorus Graphite Composite is an innovative composite material made out of Black phosphorus (BP) and graphite. Black phosphorus, or BP, is a promising anode material due to its high conductivity (both electronic and ionic) and theoretical capacity. It is important to understand the redox reactions that occur between BP ions and the alkali ions in order to determine the limitations and potential of BP.
Scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China’s Professor Ji Hengxing published a research result in “Science” a few weeks ago. They made a significant breakthrough in their research of lithium-ion electrode materials.
Ji Hengxing stated that “if we use this technology, we may be able fully charge an electrical car in around 10 minutes and travel about 500 kilometers.” The charging time of electric cars has always been a major problem. Electric vehicles are currently “waiting” an hour before they can drive 500 km. The electric vehicle industry has always had a goal to develop lithium-ion battery packs with high capacity and fast charging capability.
The material of the electrode is an important factor when determining battery performance indicators. “To increase battery charging speed you need material with fast electrochemical reactions.” It is important to check if the electrode material can conduct electrons andions. Ji Hingxing, a member of the research group, said that they hope to find an electrode material capable of meeting the expectations set by the industry for comprehensive performance indicators and also adapting to the industrial production process.
The first author, Dr. Hongchang Jin said, “Energy enters or exits the battery via the chemical reactions between lithium ions, and electrode materials. Determining the charging rate is based on the conductivity between the electrode materials and lithium ions. It is important to consider the amount.”
The Jixingxing research team discovered that black phosphorus was a good choice. First, it has a very high theoretical capacity, only second to single-crystal lithium or metallic silicon. Second, because it is a semi-conductor, its ability to conduct electronic currents is strong. Third, the layered structure of black phosphorus allows lithium ions to be easily transported between the layers. This excellent property makes black phosphorus an electrode material which can be used to fast charge lithium-ion batteries.
Black phosphorus (an allotrope to white phosphorus) is a promising electrode material for fast charging. A number of recent studies found that black phosphorus’s comprehensive performance indicators are below expectations. The edge of a layered structure can cause structural damage to black phosphorus, and its measured performance is lower than expected. Ji Xingxing adopted a strategy called “interface Engineering” to link black phosphorus with graphite using covalent bonds between phosphorus and carbon. This made the structure more stable and allowed lithium ions into the black phosphorus to be easier.

During the process of working, the electrode will also be covered in chemicals that slowly decomposes electrolyte. Several substances will block lithium ions from reaching the electrode material. This is similar to how dust on glass surfaces prevents light penetration. To achieve this, the team of researchers applied clothing to the composite material. They made a thin polymer coat to protect the black graphite composite from dust. This was “worn” over the surface.
“Under the optimization of interfaces between these two levels, black phosphorous has reached a breakthrough performance.” Ji Hingxing told the media.

“We use traditional process routes and parameters to convert the black-phosphorous composite material to the electrode sheet. Laboratory measurements show that electrode sheets can recover up to 80% after just 9 minutes and still retain 90% of their capacity after 2000 charging cycles. Xin, the cofirst author of the article and a researcher from the Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences said that if mass-production of this material is possible, matching cathode products and other auxiliary substances can be found. The optimized design should achieve an energy density of 350 Wh. It has a lithium ion battery that can be charged quickly and is capable of delivering 350 Wh/Kg. The battery will enable electric vehicles with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and increase their user experience.
Jixingxing will continue its exploration in the areas of basic research, scale preparation technology and other related fields. For battery technology to advance and for electric vehicles and consumer electronics to develop, a deep understanding of scientific fundamentals is needed. This includes the microstructure of electrode materials and their physical and chemical properties. “There is still much work to do, but the future looks bright.” Ji Hengxing spoke.
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