Self-limiting lithiation in silicon nanowires

Xiao Hua Liu, Feifei Fan, Hui Yang, Sulin Zhang, Jian Yu Huang, Ting Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


The rates of charging and discharging in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are critically controlled by the kinetics of Li insertion and extraction in solid-state electrodes. Silicon is being intensively studied as a high-capacity anode material for LIBs. However, the kinetics of Li reaction and diffusion in Si remain unclear. Here we report a combined experimental and theoretical study of the lithiation kinetics in individual Si nanowires. By using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we measure the rate of growth of a surface layer of amorphous LixSi in crystalline Si nanowires during the first lithiation. The results show the self-limiting lithiation, which is attributed to the retardation effect of the lithiation-induced stress. Our work provides a direct measurement of the nanoscale growth kinetics in lithiated Si, and has implications on nanostructures for achieving the high capacity and high rate in the development of high performance LIBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1503
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 26 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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