Hollow carbon spheres with encapsulated germanium as an anode material for lithium ion batteries†
A novel composite consisting of hollow carbon spheres with encapsulated germanium (Ge@HCS) was synthesized by introducing a germanium precursor into the porous-structured hollow carbon spheres. The carbon spheres not only function as a scaffold to hold the germanium and thus maintain the structural integrity of the composite, but also increase the electrical conductivity. The voids and vacancies that are formed after the reduction of germanium dioxide to germanium provide free space for accommodating the volume changes during discharging–charging processes, thus preventing pulverization. The obtained Ge@HCS composite exhibits excellent lithium storage performance, as revealed by electrochemical evaluation.