Carbon-coated nanoparticle superlattices for energy applications
Nanoparticle (NP) superlattices represent a unique material architecture for energy conversion and storage. Recent reports on carbon-coated NP superlattices have shown exciting electrochemical properties attributed to their rationally designed compositions and structures, fast electron transport, short diffusion length, and abundant reactive sites via enhanced coupling between close-packed NPs, which are distinctive from their isolated or disordered NP or bulk counterparts. In this minireview, we summarize the recent developments of highly-ordered and interconnected carbon-coated NP superlattices featuring high surface area, tailorable and uniform doping, high conductivity, and structure stability. We then introduce the precisely-engineered NP superlattices by tuning/studying specific aspects, including intermetallic structures, long-range ordering control, and carbon coating methods. In addition, these carbon-coated NP superlattices exhibit promising characteristics in energy-oriented applications, in particular, in the fields of lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, and electrocatalysis. Finally, the challenges and perspectives are discussed to further explore the carbon-coated NP superlattices for optimized electrochemical performances.