Mechanically Stable, Binder-Free, and Free-Standing Vanadium Trioxide/Carbon Hybrid Fiber Electrodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Abstract Binder is a crucial component in present-day battery electrodes but commonly contains fluorine and requires coating processing using organic (often toxic) solvents. Preparing binder-free electrodes is an attractive strategy to make battery electrode production and its end-of-use waste greener and safer. Here, electrospinning is employed to prepare binder-free and self-standing electrodes. Such electrodes often suffer from low flexibility, and the correlation between performance and flexibility is usually overlooked. Processing parameters affect the mechanical properties of the electrodes, and for the first time it is reported that mechanical flexibility directly influences the electrochemical performance of the electrode. The importance is highlighted when processing parameters advantageous to powder materials, such as a higher heat treatment temperature, harm self-standing electrodes due to deterioration of fiber flexibility. Other strategies, such as conductive carbon addition, can be employed to improve the cell performance, but their effect on the mechanical properties of the electrodes must be considered. Rapid heat treatment achieves self-standing V2O3 with a capacity of 250 mAh g−1 at 250 mA g−1 and 390 mAh g−1 at 10 mA g−1