Electrochemical fabrication and characterization of Cu/Cu2O multi-layered micro and nanorods in Li-ion batteries†
Electrodes composed of freestanding nano- and microrods composed of stacked layers of copper and cuprous oxide have been fabricated using a straightforward one-step template-assisted pulsed galvanostatic electrodeposition approach. The approach provided precise control of the thickness of each individual layer of the high-aspect-ratio rods as was verified by SEM, EDS, XRD, TEM and EELS measurements. Rods with diameters of 80, 200 and 1000 nm were deposited and the influence of the template pore size on the structure and electrochemical performance of the conversion reaction based electrodes in lithium-ion batteries was investigated. The multi-layered Cu2O/Cu nano- and microrod electrodes exhibited a potential window of more than 2 V, which was ascribed to the presence of a distribution of Cu2O (and Cu, respectively) nanoparticles with different sizes and redox potentials. As approximately the same areal capacity was obtained independent of the diameter of the multi-layered rods the results demonstrate the presence of an electroactive Cu2O layer with a thickness defined by the time domain of the measurements. It is also demonstrated that while the areal capacity of the electrodes decreased dramatically when the scan rate was increased from 0.1 to 2 mV s−1, the capacity remained practically constant when the scan rate was further increased to 100 mV s−1. This behaviour can be explained by assuming that the capacity is limited by the lithium ion diffusion rate though the Cu2O layer generated during the oxidation step. The electrochemical performance of present type of 3-D multi-layered rods provides new insights into the lithiation and delithiation reactions taking place for conversion reaction materials such as Cu2O.