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Facile Ultrasonic Synthesis of CoO Quantum Dot/Graphene Nanosheet Composites with High Lithium Storage Capacity

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journal contribution
posted on 28.02.2012, 00:00 authored by Chengxin Peng, Bingdi Chen, Yao Qin, Shihe Yang, Chunzhong Li, Yuanhui Zuo, Siyang Liu, Jinhu Yang
In this paper, we report a facile ultrasonic method to synthesize well-dispersed CoO quantum dots (3–8 nm) on graphene nanosheets at room temperature by employing Co4(CO)12 as cobalt precursor. The prepared CoO/graphene composites displayed high performance as an anode material for lithium-ion battery, such as high reversible lithium storage capacity (1592 mAh g–1 after 50 cycles), high Coulombic efficiency (over 95%), excellent cycling stability, and high rate capability (1008 mAh g–1 with a total retention of 77.6% after 50 cycles at a current density of 1000 mA g–1, dramatically increased from the initial 50 mA g–1). The extraordinary performance arises from the structure advantages of the composites: the nanosized CoO quantum dots with high dispersity on conductive graphene substrates supply not only large quantity of accessible active sites for lithium-ion insertion but also good conductivity and short diffusion length for lithium ions, which are beneficial for high capacity and rate capability. Meanwhile, the isolated CoO quantum dots anchored tightly on the graphene nanosheets can effectively circumvent the volume expansion/contraction associated with lithium insertion/extraction during discharge/charge processes, which is good for high capacity as well as cycling stability. Moreover, regarding the anomalous behavior of capacity increase with cycles (activation effect) observed, we proposed a tentative hypothesis stressing the competition between the conductivity increase and the amorphorization of the composite electrodes during cycling in determining the trends of the capacity, in the hope to gain a fuller understanding of the inner working of the novel nanostructured electrode-based lithium-ion batteries.