Hollow SnO2 nanospheres with oxygen vacancies entrapped by a N-doped graphene network as robust anode materials for lithium-ion batteries†
The practical application of tin dioxide (SnO2) in lithium-ion batteries has been greatly hindered by its large volumetric expansion and low conductivity. Thus, a rational design of the size, geometry and the pore structure of SnO2-based nanomaterials is still a dire demand. To this end, herein we report an effective approach for engineering hollow-structured SnO2 nanospheres with adequate surface oxygen vacancies simultaneously wrapped by a nitrogen-doped graphene network (SnO2−x/N-rGO) through an electrostatic adsorption-induced self-assembly together with a thermal reduction process. The close electrostatic attraction achieved a tight and uniform combination of positively charged SnO2 nanospheres with negatively charged graphene oxide (GO), which can alleviate the aggregation and volume expansion of the entrapped SnO2 nanospheres. Subsequent thermal treatment not only ensures a significant reduction of the GO sheets accompanying nitrogen-doping, but also induces the generation of oxygen vacancies on the surface of the SnO2 hollow nanospheres, together building up a long-range and bicontinuous transfer channel for rapid electron and ion transport. Because of these structural merits, the as-built SnO2−x/N-rGO composite used as the anode material exhibits excellent robust cycling stability (∼912 mA h g−1 after 500 cycles at 0.5 A g−1 and 652 mA h g−1 after 200 cycles at 1 A g−1) and superior rate capability (309 mA h g−1 at 10 A g−1). This facile fabrication strategy may pave the way for the construction of high performance SnO2-based anode materials for potential application in advanced lithium-ion batteries.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Year of the Periodic Table: Elements for Next Generation Batteries