Sodium-ion storage properties of nickel sulfide hollow nanospheres/reduced graphene oxide composite powders prepared by a spray drying process and the nanoscale Kirkendall effect†
Spray-drying and the nanoscale Kirkendall diffusion process are used to prepare nickel sulfide hollow nanospheres/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) composite powders with excellent Na-ion storage properties. Metallic Ni nanopowder-decorated rGO powders, formed as intermediate products, are transformed into composite powders of nickel sulfide hollow nanospheres/rGO with mixed crystal structures of Ni3S2 and Ni9S8 phases by the sulfidation process under H2S gas. Nickel sulfide/rGO composite powders with the main crystal structure of Ni3S2 are also prepared as comparison samples by the direct sulfidation of nickel acetate–graphene oxide (GO) composite powders obtained by spray-drying. In electrochemical properties, the discharge capacities at the 150th cycle of the nickel sulfide/rGO composite powders prepared by sulfidation of the Ni/rGO composite and nickel acetate/GO composite powders at a current density of 0.3 A g−1 are 449 and 363 mA h g−1, respectively; their capacity retentions, calculated from the tenth cycle, are 100 and 87%. The nickel sulfide hollow nanospheres/rGO composite powders possess structural stability over repeated Na-ion insertion and extraction processes, and also show excellent rate performance for Na-ion storage.