Hierarchical assembly of Ti(IV)/Sn(II) co-doped SnO2 nanosheets along sacrificial titanate nanowires: synthesis, characterization and electrochemical properties
Hierarchical assembly of Ti(IV)/Sn(II)-doped SnO2 nanosheets along titanate nanowires serving as both sacrificial templates and a Ti(IV) source is demonstrated, using SnCl2 as a tin precursor and Sn(II) dopants and NaF as the morphology controlling agent. Excess fluoride inhibits the hydrolysis of SnCl2, promoting heterogeneous nucleation of Sn(II)-doped SnO2 on the titanate nanowires due to the insufficient oxidization of Sn(II) to Sn(IV). Simultaneously, titanate nanowires are dissolved forming Ti4+ species under the etching effect of in situ generated HF resulting in spontaneous Ti4+ ion doping of SnO2 nanosheets formed under hydrothermal conditions. Compositional analysis indicates that Ti4+ ions are incorporated by substitution of Sn sites at a high level (16–18 at.%), with uniform distribution and no phase separation. Mössbauer spectroscopy quantified the relative content of Sn(II) and Sn(IV) in both Sn(II)-doped and Ti(IV)/Sn(II) co-doped SnO2 samples. Electrochemical properties were investigated as an anode material in lithium ion batteries, demonstrating that Ti-doped SnO2 nanosheets show improved cycle performance, which is attributed to the alleviation of inherent volume expansion of the SnO2-based anode materials by substituting part of Sn sites with Ti dopants.