Structure and Reactivity of Alucone-Coated Films on Si and Li(x)Si(y) Surfaces. Academic Article uri icon


  • Coating silicon particles with a suitable thin film has appeared as a possible solution to accommodate the swelling of silicon upon lithiation and its posterior cracking and pulverization during cycling of Li-ion batteries. In particular, aluminum alkoxide (alucone) films have been recently deposited over Si anodes, and the lithiation and electrochemical behavior of the system have been characterized. However, some questions remain regarding the lithium molecular migration mechanisms through the film and the electronic properties of the alucone film. Here we use density functional theory, ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, and Green's function theory to examine the film formation, lithiation, and reactivity in contact with an electrolyte solution. It is found that the film is composed of Al-O complexes with 3-O or 4-O coordination. During lithiation, Li atoms bind very strongly to the O atoms in the most energetically favorable sites. After the film is irreversibly saturated with Li atoms, it becomes electronically conductive. The ethylene carbonate molecules in liquid phase are found to be reduced at the surface of the Li-saturated alucone film following similar electron transfer mechanisms as found previously for lithiated silicon anodes. The theoretical results are in agreement with those from morphology and electrochemical analyses.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, Y., Martinez de la Hoz, J. M., Angarita, I., Berrio-Sanchez, J. M., Benitez, L., Seminario, J. M., ... Balbuena, P. B.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Ma, Yuguang||Martinez de la Hoz, Julibeth M||Angarita, Ivette||Berrio-Sanchez, Jose M||Benitez, Laura||Seminario, Jorge M||Son, Seoung-Bum||Lee, Se-Hee||George, Steven M||Ban, Chunmei||Balbuena, Perla B

publication date

  • June 2015