Aluminum-ion batteries (AIB) have significant merits of low cost, non-flammability, and high-capacity metallic aluminum anodes based on three-electron redox properties. However, due to its inadequate cathodic performance, especially in terms of capacity, high-rate capability, and cycle life, AIB still cannot compete with Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors.
To address these issues, a research team led by GAO Chao, a professor in Zhejiang University's (ZJU's) Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, has proposed a "trihigh tricontinuous (3H3C) design" to achieve the ideal graphene film (GF-HC) cathode with excellent electrochemical performances.
The ordered assembly of graphene liquid crystal leads to a highly oriented structure satisfying requirement. High temperature annealing and concomitant gas pressure contribute to high-quality yet high channeling graphene structure simultaneously. Owing to this targeted 3H3C design, the resulting aluminum-graphene battery (Al-GB) achieves an ultralong cycle life (91.7 percent retention after 250,000 cycles), unprecedented high-rate capability (111 mAh g−1 at 400 A g−1 based on the cathode), a wide operation temperature range (−40° to 120°C), unique flexibility, and nonflammability.