Enhancing Nickel-Bismuth Batteries with Bismuth Nanosheets on Porous Carbon Cloth for Improved Flexibility and Cycling Stability

Significance 

Nickel-bismuth (Ni//Bi) batteries are rechargeable battery system that incorporates nickel (Ni) as the cathode material and bismuth (Bi) as the anode material.  Nickel-metal  based batteries has the advantage of high energy density, reliability, and durability while using bismuth in battery anodes arises from its advantageous properties such as low toxicity, abundant availability, and excellent electrochemical performance, including a highly reversible redox reaction that is suitable for battery applications. Despite their advantages, Ni//Bi batteries face several limitations that have hindered their widespread adoption including cycling stability which leads to a decrease in battery capacity over time. Moreover, for applications requiring flexible batteries, such as wearable electronics, the electrode materials must maintain their integrity and performance under bending and flexing. Traditional Ni//Bi batteries may not offer sufficient flexibility due to the brittle nature of bismuth and the rigid substrates commonly used. In response to these limitations, a new study published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces led by Dr. Hongqi Shi and Dr. Jiajia Chen from the Suqian University alongside Cunduan Zhang, Jianming Zhan, Xinxing Li, Zhengyuan Gao, and Zhida Li, the team improved the performance of  Ni//Bi batteries by employing bismuth nanosheets on porous carbon cloth (Bi-PCC) electrodes. Their work focused on addressing two main challenges faced by Ni//Bi batteries: cycling stability and electrode flexibility.

The authors started by preparing the porous carbon cloth (PCC) substrate through a process involving the soaking of carbon cloth in KOH solution, followed by carbonization under nitrogen at high temperatures, and finally etching with HCl to create a porous structure. Bismuth nanosheets were uniformly grown on the PCC substrate using an electrodeposition technique. The deposition process involved a mixed solution containing Bi(NO3)3·5H2O, potassium sodium tartrate, potassium chloride, EDTA-2Na, KOH, and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide, followed by annealing in an argon atmosphere. The researchers characterized the Bi-PCC and comparative electrodes using a range of techniques to evaluate their structure, morphology, and electrochemical performance including field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to analyze the morphology, crystal structure, and elemental composition of the electrodes. Moreover, the authors conducted cyclic voltammetry (CV), galvanostatic charge/discharge (GCD) tests, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to assess the electrochemical performance, including specific capacity, cycling stability, and ion transport properties.

The authors found that Bi-PCC electrode exhibited a significantly enhanced specific surface area and wettability compared to conventional electrodes. This was attributed to the porous structure of PCC, facilitating fast charge transfer and efficient ion transport. The Bi-PCC electrode demonstrated a high specific capacity of up to 297.1 mAh g−1 at 2 A g−1. It showed remarkable capacity retention of up to 71.5% at 2−40 A g−1 and maintained 79.9% capacity after 1000 cycles at the same current range. The flexible rechargeable Ni//Bi battery, utilizing Bi-PCC as the anode and Ni(OH)2-PCC as the cathode, showcased outstanding electrochemical performance. The battery exhibited a capacity retention of 93.6% after 3000 cycles at 10 A g−1, a maximum energy density of 73.1 Wh kg−1, and a power density of 11.9 kW kg−1.

The new study significance lies in addressing the inherent limitations of Ni//Bi batteries, particularly in terms of cycling stability and electrode flexibility. Prior attempts to enhance the performance of Ni//Bi batteries have been hindered by the structural collapse of bismuth anodes during the charge-discharge process and the hysteresis of Bi/Bi2O3 redox kinetics. These challenges have significantly impacted the durability and efficiency of Ni//Bi batteries, limiting their practical application. The innovative approach of using Bi-PCC electrodes, as presented in this study, marks an important step in overcoming these obstacles.  The authors’ findings have far-reaching implications for the development of advanced energy storage systems. By addressing the critical challenges of cycling stability and electrode flexibility, this study opens new avenues for the practical application of Ni//Bi batteries in a wide range of technologies. The innovative use of bismuth nanosheets on porous carbon cloth electrodes sets a new benchmark for the design of high-capacity, durable, and flexible batteries, paving the way for future advancements in energy storage technology. In conclusion, the study by Dr. Hongqi Shi, Dr. Jiajia Chen, and their team led to the development of a novel Ni//Bi battery configuration with improved performance metrics. The use of Bi nanosheets grown on PCC substrates significantly enhanced the cycling stability and flexibility of the batteries. These findings not only contribute to advancing nickel-metal battery technology but also open new avenues for the development of flexible, high-capacity, and durable energy storage solutions with wide-ranging applications in new energy vehicles, portable electronics, and beyond.

Enhancing Nickel-Bismuth Batteries with Bismuth Nanosheets on Porous Carbon Cloth for Improved Flexibility and Cycling Stability - Advances in Engineering

About the author

Dr. Hongqi Shi

School of Information Engineering, Suqian University, Suqian, Jiangsu, 223800, China.

Dr. Hongqi Shi received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, China, in 2019 and 2014, respectively. From 2016 to 2021, he worked at the Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, as a postdoctoral. He is currently a lecturer with Suqian University, Suqian, China. He is the author of more than 50 articles, and more than 10 inventions. His current interests include nanomaterials and new metal materials.

About the author

Dr. Jiajia Chen
School of Information Engineering, Suqian University, Suqian, Jiangsu, 223800, China.

Dr. Jiajia Chen received the M.S. degree in electronic and communication engineering from the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing, China, in 2015, and the Ph.D. degree from the School of Electronic, Electrical and Communicating Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, in 2022. He is currently a lecturer with Suqian University, Suqian, China. His current interests include optoelectronic information technology and electronic information technology.

Reference

Shi H, Zhang C, Zhan J, Chen J, Li X, Gao Z, Li Z. Bi Nanosheets on Porous Carbon Cloth Composites for Ultrastable Flexible Nickel-Bismuth Batteries. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2023;15(30):36190-36200. doi: 10.1021/acsami.3c05666.

Go to ACS Appl Mater Interfaces.

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