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Carbon-Encapsulated Fe3O4 Nanoparticles as a High-Rate Lithium Ion Battery Anode Material

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posted on 2013-05-28, 00:00 authored by Chunnian He, Shan Wu, Naiqin Zhao, Chunsheng Shi, Enzuo Liu, Jiajun Li
A facile and scalable in situ synthesis strategy is developed to fabricate carbon-encapsulated Fe3O4 nanoparticles homogeneously embedded in two-dimensional (2D) porous graphitic carbon nanosheets (Fe3O4@C@PGC nanosheets) as a durable high-rate lithium ion battery anode material. With assistance of the surface of NaCl particles, 2D Fe@C@PGC nanosheets can be in situ synthesized by using the Fe(NO3)3·9H2O and C6H12O6 as the metal and carbon precursor, respectively. After annealing under air, the Fe@C@PGC nanosheets can be converted to Fe3O4@C@PGC nanosheets, in which Fe3O4 nanoparticles (∼18.2 nm) coated with conformal and thin onion-like carbon shells are homogeneously embedded in 2D high-conducting carbon nanosheets with a thickness of less than 30 nm. In the constructed architecture, the thin carbon shells can avoid the direct exposure of encapsulated Fe3O4 to the electrolyte and preserve the structural and interfacial stabilization of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Meanwhile, the flexible and conductive PGC nanosheets can accommodate the mechanical stress induced by the volume change of embedded Fe3O4@C nanoparticles as well as inhibit the aggregation of Fe3O4 nanoparticles and thus maintain the structural and electrical integrity of the Fe3O4@C@PGC electrode during the lithiation/delithiation processes. As a result, this Fe3O4@C@PGC electrode exhibits superhigh rate capability (858, 587, and 311 mAh/g at 5, 10, and 20 C, respectively, 1 C = 1 A/g) and extremely excellent cycling performance at high rates (only 3.47% capacity loss after 350 cycles at a high rate of 10 C), which is the best one ever reported for an Fe3O4-based electrode including various nanostructured Fe3O4 anode materials, composite electrodes, etc.

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