ZnO nanosheet/squeezebox-like porous carbon composites synthesized by in situ pyrolysis of a mixed-ligand metal–organic framework†
The optional molecular structures and compositions have made metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) an important precursor for preparing functional nanomaterials. In this paper, ZnO nanosheets growing on a MOF-derived porous carbon matrix (ZnO/MPC) were synthesized by in situ pyrolysis of a Zn-based mixed-ligand MOF. The formation of ZnO nanosheets relies on the intermediate structures of the pyrolytic MOFs. The inherent molecular structure and the escape of the ligand molecules will induce the formation of a stacked structure during the heat treatment process, and the layered spaces can provide a directional path for the motion of Zn atoms to the surface of carbon bulk during the pyrolysis of the precursor. This work shows that one can design and synthesize novel nanostructures by controlling the intermediate structures of MOF precursors during the pyrolysis process. The as-synthesized ZnO/MPC also displayed an excellent cyclability and a high reversible capacity of 920 mA h g−1 at a current density of 60 mA g−1, exhibiting a promising prospect in lithium storage application.