The poor electrical conductivity of Si-based anode materials is a critical challenge for the development of high-performance Li secondary batteries. We propose a new approach for enhancing the electrical conductivity of an electrodeposited Si–O–C composite anode via self-incorporation of nano Cu metal (n-Cu) using a facile and inexpensive electrochemical synthetic method. The Si–O–C composite with n-Cu (Cu/Si–O–C composite) shows stable cycle performance with a fairly high specific capacity. Since Cu precursor ions for the electrodeposition of n-Cu are directly dissolved from a Cu substrate used as the current collector for the anode, electrical conducting additives that causes increase in the weight and volume of the electrode are not unnecessarily supplemented. In the synthesis process, the n-Cu metal and Si–O–C composite are electrodeposited simultaneously. The n-Cu/Si–O–C composite anode results in improved electrochemical performance, including enhancement of areal and specific capacity; coulombic efficiency; and rate capability. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy suggests that such improvements in performance are due to the enhanced electrical conductivity resulting from the conductive network of the incorporated n-Cu. Moreover, the electrical conductive properties of the incorporated n-Cu suppress electrochemical degradation of the n-Cu/Si–O–C composite anode.
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