Metal-nanowire-nonwoven cloth (MNNC) is a metal sheet that has resulted from intertwined metal nanowires 100 nm in diameter with several dozen μm of length. Thus, it is a new metallic material having both a flexibility of the metal sheet and a large specific surface area of the nanowires. As an application that utilizes these properties, we propose a high-cyclability electrode for Li storage batteries, in which an active material is deposited or coated on MNNC. The proposed electrode can work without any binders, conductive additives, and current collectors, which might largely improve a practical gravimetric energy density. Huge electrode surfaces provide efficient ion/electron transports, and sufficient interspaces between the respective nanowires accommodate large volume expansions of the active material. To demonstrate these advantages, we have fabricated a NiO-covered nickel-nanowire-nonwoven cloth (NNNC) by electroless deposition under a magnetic field and annealing in air. The adequately-annealed NNNC was shown to be an excellent conversion-type electrode that exhibits a quite high cyclability, 500 mAh/g at 1 C after 300 cycles, compared to that of a composite electrode consisting of NiO nanoparticles. Thus, the present design concept will contribute to a game-changing technology in future LIB electrodes.
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