Advances in Sodium-Ion Batteries: Improved Performance with New Bindings

Sodium-Ion Batteries: A Promising Future

Researchers have made significant advancements in the performance of sodium-ion batteries. Using a new high-functional density polyfumaric acid (PFA) binder, they have improved the efficiency of hard-carbon electrodes. Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) have emerged as a viable alternative due to the abundant sodium found in seawater and salt deposits.

Key Advancements in Anode Material

Researchers from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), led by Professor Noriyoshi Matsumi and Doctoral Student Amarshi Patra, have developed an HC anode using a PFA binder. Their findings, published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, showcase the benefits of PFA. Prof. Matsumi stated, “PFA is a high-functional density polymer with carboxylic acid present on all the carbon atoms of the main chain. This structure enables better Na ion diffusion and stronger adherence to the electrode.”

Performance Tests and Results

The new HC anode was synthesized by mixing HC, Super P carbon, and PFA in water to form an aqueous slurry. This mixture was then coated onto copper foil and dried overnight. Various electrochemical tests were conducted on the anode-type half-cell, which was constructed using the HC anode, a sodium metal disc as the counter electrode, and 1.0 M NaClO­­4 as the electrolyte.

The peeling test demonstrated that the PFA-binder containing HC electrode exhibited a peeling force of 12.5 N. This force was significantly higher than poly(acrylic acid)-HC electrodes at 11.5 N and PVDF-HC electrodes at 9.8 N. These results indicate strong adhesion between electrode components and the copper current collector, essential for the long life of SIBs.

Enhanced Battery Performance

During charging/discharging cycle tests, the anode half-cell displayed specific capacities of 288 mAhg-1 and 254 mAhg-1 at current densities of 30 mAg-1 and 60 mAg-1, respectively. These results were superior to those of PVDF and poly(acrylic acid)-type electrodes. The anode also retained 85.4% of its capacity after 250 cycles, showing excellent long-cycle stability. Furthermore, the Na ion diffusion coefficient for the PFA-HC electrode was 1.9 × 10-13 cm2/s, higher than poly(acrylic acid)-HC and PVDF-HC electrodes.

Future Implications

According to Prof. Matsumi, structural modifications in this polymer material can further enhance performance. The researchers aim to collaborate with companies for commercial implementation. As a water-soluble and non-toxic binder that improves durability, PFA can be applied in a wide range of energy storage devices. This new material can contribute to the broader use of low-cost energy devices based on SIBs, leading to a more energy-efficient and carbon-neutral society.

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