Design of high-performance antimony/MXene hybrid electrodes for sodium-ion batteries†
Due to their versatile properties and excellent electrical conductivity, MXenes have become attractive materials for alkali metal-ion batteries. However, as the capacity is limited to lower values due to the intercalation mechanism, these materials can hardly keep up in the ever-fast-growing community of battery research. Antimony has a promisingly high theoretical sodiation capacity characterized by an alloying reaction. The main drawback of this type of battery material is related to the high volume changes during cycling, often leading to electrode cracking and pulverization, resulting in poor electrochemical performance. A synergistic effect of combing antimony and MXene can be expected to obtain an optimized electrochemical system to overcome capacity fading of antimony while taking advantage of MXene charge storage ability. In this work, variation of the synthesis parameters and material design strategy have been dedicated to achieving the optimized antimony/MXene hybrid electrodes for high-performance sodium-ion batteries. The optimized performance does not align with the highest amount of antimony, the smallest nanoparticles, or the largest interlayer distance of MXene but with the most homogeneous distribution of antimony and MXene while both components remain electrochemically addressable. As a result, the electrode with 40 mass% MXene, not previously expanded, etched with 5 mass% HF and 60% antimony synthesized on the surfaces of MXene emerged as the best electrode. We obtained a high reversible capacity of 450 mA h g−1 at 0.1 A g−1 with a capacity retention of around 96% after 100 cycles with this hybrid material. Besides the successful cycling stability, this material also exhibits high rate capability with a capacity of 365 mA h g−1 at 4 A g−1. In situ XRD measurements and post mortem analysis were used to investigate the reaction mechanism.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Open Access Articles