Engineering the surface of rutile TiO2 nanoparticles with quantum pits towards excellent lithium storage†
Engineering the surface structure of nanomaterials is of great importance for applications in energy conversion and storage. Herein, unique rutile TiO2 nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized by a facile solution and subsequent thermal annealing method. Each particle surface has been etched to form pits with an average size of 2–5 nm, producing abundant steps and vacancies. When evaluated as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, the yielded rutile TiO2 nanoparticle electrode exhibits a maximum specific capacity of ∼145 mA h g−1 at a current density of 0.5C (1C = 335 A g−1) with outstanding charge/discharge rate capability (∼102 mA h g−1 at 5C) and good cycling performance.