Centrifugally spun carbon fibers prepared from aqueous poly(vinylpyrrolidone) solutions as binder-free anodes in lithium-ion batteries

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Aqueous solutions of poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) of various concentrations (20, 25, and 28 wt%) were successfully spun into fibers by centrifugal spinning. The pristine PVP fibers were annealed and carbonized to produce flexible carbon fibers for use as binder-free anodes in lithium-ion batteries. These flexible carbon fibers were prepared by developing a novel three-step heat treatment to reduce the residual stresses in the pristine PVP precursor fibers, and to prevent fiber degradation during carbonization. The thermogravimetric analysis data showed that the annealed fibers yielded a residual mass percentage of 36.0% while the pristine PVP fibers suffered a higher mass loss and only retained 26.5% of original mass above 450 °C (under nitrogen). The electrochemical performance of the carbon-fiber anodes was evaluated by conducting galvanostatic charge/discharge, rate performance, and cycle voltammetry experiments. The 20, 25, and 28 wt% derived binder-free anodes delivered specific charge capacities of 205, 189, and 275 mAh g−1, respectively, after the first cycle at a current density of 100 mA g−1. The results obtained in this work indicate that a feasible pathway towards a large-scale production of carbon-fiber anodes from a 100% aqueous solution can be achieved via centrifugal spinning and subsequent heat treatment.


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J Appl Polym Sci.