Fibrin biopolymer hydrogel-templated 3D interconnected Si@C framework for lithium ion battery anodes

Woong Ju Kim, Jin Gu Kang, Dong Wan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon is considered a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery anodes because of its exceptionally high capacity. However, employing Si in real applications remains a challenge, owing to dramatic reduction in the capacity after a few cycles. Redesigning the advanced electrode structure, including the available free volume and continuous conductive scaffold, may potentially circumvent this problem. Here, we demonstrate a new method of creating binder- and conductive additive-free three-dimensional (3D) porous network Si@C electrodes via fibrin hydrogel templating followed by pyrolysis. Hydrogen bonds between hydroxyl groups on Si and amides of fibrin enable the hierarchical 3D structures. These comprise well-distributed Si nanoparticles (SiNPs) in carbon frameworks, with each particle conformally encapsulated by the carbon layer. We confirm that carbon is doped with nitrogen and that pyridinic N and pyrrolic N are the predominant configurations. The 3D Si@C electrode exhibits a good rate performance (capacity of 730 mAh g−1 at 1000 mA g−1 (0.5C, Si + C basis)) and also a stable cycling property (54% capacity retention after 500 cycles at 500 mA g−1). Compared to a conventional mixture (SiNPs/alginate/Super P), the 3D Si@C electrode exhibits significantly improved electrochemical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149439
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2019R1A2B5B02070203), and by Creative Materials Discovery Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by Ministry of Science and ICT (2018M3D1A1058744), and by the Institutional Program (2E30120) of Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • 3D Si@C network
  • Fibrin template
  • Hydrogen bonding
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • N-doped C
  • Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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