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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 375289, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/375289
Research Article

Critical Dispersion Distance of Silicon Nanoparticles Intercalated between Graphene Layers

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
2Maryland NanoCenter, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Received 16 October 2011; Accepted 25 January 2012

Academic Editor: Sulin Zhang

Copyright © 2012 Shuze Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nanocomposites of silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) dispersed in between graphene layers emerge as potential anode materials of high-charge capacity for lithium-ion batteries. A key design requirement is to keep Si NPs dispersed without aggregation. Experimental design of the Si NP dispersion in graphene layers has remained largely empirical. Through extensive molecular dynamics simulations, we determine a critical NP dispersion distance as the function of NP size, below which Si NPs in between graphene layers evolve to bundle together. These results offer crucial and quantitative guidance for designing NP-graphene nanocomposite anode materials with high charge capacity.