Synthesis, structural characterization, and electrochemical performance of nanocast mesoporous Cu-/Fe-based oxides†
Mesoporous solids with compositions beyond single oxide are of particular interest because of their great potential for a wide range of applications, including energy conversion and storage, and heterogeneous catalysis. Although much effort has been devoted to the preparation of mesoporous transition metal oxides, synthesis is still greatly limited to single oxides. Herein, we report the synthesis of a series of mesoporous mixed Cu-/Fe-based oxides (CFOs) exhibiting different morphologies and crystallinity in the walls, through an optimized hard templating approach. A systematic structural characterization was performed and their electrochemical properties as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries have been explored. The electrochemical results revealed that mesoporous CFO synthesized from mesoporous silica template MCM-48 exhibits the best rate capability and capacity retention compared to other mesoporous counterparts, suggesting that nanocrystallinity is the dominant effect, while the morphology and porosity features (e.g., surface area, pore size, and pore volume) have a less significant impact on the electrochemical performances.