Reduced Graphene Oxide-Induced Recrystallization of NiS Nanorods to Nanosheets and the Improved Na-Storage Properties

Preparation of two-dimensional (2D) graphene-like materials is currently an emerging field in materials science since the discovery of single-atom-thick graphene prepared by mechanical cleavage. In this work, we proposed a new method to prepare 2D NiS, where reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was found to induce the recrystallization of NiS from nanorods to nanosheets in a hydrothermal process. The process and mechanism of recrystallization have been clarified by various characterization techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The characterization of ex situ NiS/rGO products by SEM and EDS mapping indicates that the recrystallization of NiS from nanorods to nanosheets is realized actually through an exfoliation process, while the characterization of in situ NiS/rGO products by SEM, TEM, and EDS mapping reveals the exfoliation process. The XPS result demonstrates that hydrothermally assisted chemical bonding occurs between NiS and rGO, which induces the exfoliation of NiS nanorods into nanosheets. The obtained NiS/rGO composite shows promising Na-storage properties.