Advances in the synthesis and design of nanostructured materials by aerosol spray processes for efficient energy storage
The increasing demand for energy storage has motivated the search for highly efficient electrode materials for use in rechargeable batteries with enhanced energy density and longer cycle life. One of the most promising strategies for achieving improved battery performance is altering the architecture of nanostructured materials employed as electrode materials in the energy storage field. Among numerous synthetic methods suggested for the fabrication of nanostructured materials, aerosol spray techniques such as spray pyrolysis, spray drying, and flame spray pyrolysis are reliable, as they are facile, cost-effective, and continuous processes that enable the synthesis of nanostructured electrode materials with desired morphologies and compositions with controlled stoichiometry. The post-treatment of spray-processed powders enables the fabrication of oxide, sulfide, and selenide nanostructures hybridized with carbonaceous materials including amorphous carbon, reduced graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes, etc. In this article, recent progress in the synthesis of nanostructured electrode materials by spray processes and their general formation mechanisms are discussed in detail. A brief introduction to the working principles of each spray process is given first, and synthetic strategies for the design of electrode materials for lithium-ion, sodium-ion, lithium–sulfur, lithium–selenium, and lithium–oxygen batteries are discussed along with some examples. This analysis sheds light on the synthesis of nanostructured materials by spray processes and paves the way toward the design of other novel and advanced nanostructured materials for high performance electrodes in rechargeable batteries of the future.