Revealing salt-expedited reduction mechanism for hollow silicon microsphere formation in bi-functional halide melts
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- Revealing salt-expedited reduction mechanism for hollow silicon microsphere formation in bi-functional halide melts
- Song, Gyujin; Ryu, Jaegeon; Kim, Jin Chul; Lee, Jeong Hyeon; Kim, Sungho; Wang, Chongmin; Kwak, Sang Kyu; Park, Soojin
- Issue Date
- NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
- COMMUNICATIONS CHEMISTRY, v.1, pp.42
- The thermochemical reduction of silica to silicon using chemical reductants requires high temperature and has a high activation energy, which depends on the melting temperature of the reductant. The addition of bi-functional molten salts with a low melting temperature may reduce the required energy, and several examples using molten salts have been demonstrated. Here we study the mechanism of reduction of silica in the presence of aluminum metal reductant and aluminum chloride as bi-functional molten salts. An aluminum-aluminum chloride complex plays a key role in the reduction mechanism, reacting with the oxygen of the silica surfaces to lower the heat of reaction and subsequently survives a recycling step in the reaction. This experimentally and theoretically validated reaction mechanism may open a new pathway using bi-functional molten salts. Furthermore, the as-synthesized hollow porous silicon microsphere anodes show structural durability on cycling in both half/full cell tests, attributed to the high volume-accommodating ability.
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