Sol–Gel Design Strategy for Ultradispersed TiO2 Nanoparticles on Graphene for High-Performance Lithium Ion Batteries

The rational design and controllable synthesis of strongly coupled inorganic/graphene hybrids represents a long-standing challenge for developing advanced catalysts and energy-storage materials. Here, we report a simple sol–gel method toward creating ultradispersed TiO2 nanoparticles on graphene with an unprecedented degree of control based on the precise separation and manipulation of nanoparticles nucleated, grown, anchored, and crystallized and the reduction of graphene oxide (GO). The hybrid materials show ultradispersed anatase nanoparticles (∼5 nm), ultrathin thickness (≤3 layers), and a high surface area of ∼229 m2/g and exhibit a high specific capacity of ∼94 mA h g–1 at ∼59 C, which is twice as that of mechanically mixed composites (∼41 mA h g–1), demonstrating the potential of strongly synergistic coupling effects for advanced functional systems.