Encapsulation of α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles in graphitic carbon microspheres as high-performance anode materials for lithium-ion batteries†
A novel “spray drying–carbonization–oxidation” strategy has been developed for the fabrication of α-Fe2O3-graphitic carbon (α-Fe2O3@GC) composite microspheres, in which α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles with sizes of 30–50 nm are well-encapsulated by onion-like graphitic carbon shells with a thickness of 5–10 nm. In the constructed composite, the α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles act as the primary active material, providing a high capacity. Meanwhile, the graphitic carbon shells serve as the secondary active component, structural stabilizer, interfacial stabilizer, and electron-highway. As a result, the synthesized α-Fe2O3@GC nanocomposite exhibits a superior lithium-ion battery performance with a high reversible capacity (898 mA h g−1 at 400 mA g−1), outstanding rate capability, and excellent cycling stability. Our product, in terms of the facile and scalable preparation process and excellent electrochemical performance, demonstrates its great potential as a high-performance anode material for lithium-ion batteries.