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Cobalt Hydroxide Carbonate/Reduced Graphene Oxide Anodes Enabled by a Confined Step-by-Step Electrochemical Catalytic Conversion Process for High Lithium Storage Capacity and Excellent Cyclability with a Low Variance Coefficient

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2019, 17:38 by Ya-Qiong Jing, Jin Qu, Wei Chang, Qiu-Yu Ji, Hong-Jun Liu, Ting-Ting Zhang, Zhong-Zhen Yu
Transition metal carbonates/hydroxides have attracted much attention as appealing anode materials due to their considerable reversible electrochemical catalytic conversion capacity. However, their serious positive or negative trends with cycles caused by the electrochemical catalytic conversion seriously affect their practical applications. Herein, novel one-dimensional cobalt hydroxide carbonate (CHC) nanomaterials are tightly anchored on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) sheets via a facile one-pot hydrothermal synthesis, forming surface-confined domains to further restrict the electrochemical catalytic conversion process. The analysis on the cycled electrodes at varied potentials confirms that the added capacity of CHC arises from the step-by-step reversible reactions of Li2CO3 and LiOH under the electrochemical catalysis of Co metal generated by the conversion reaction of CHC. The reversible reaction of Li2CO3 is followed closely by that of LiOH in the discharge process, while the order is opposite in the charge process. Such a step-by-step electrochemical catalytic conversion process could confine each other to accommodate the volume change and avoid side reactions. The confined effect is further enhanced by limiting the width and length of the CHC, which are determined by regulating the nucleation and growth of CHC on the surface of RGO, leading to an extraordinary cyclability. The optimized CHC/RGO hybrid maintains a high reversible capacity of 1110 mA h g–1 after 100 cycles at 0.1 A g–1, which is much higher than the theoretical value of CHC (506 mA h g–1) on the basis of the recognized conversion reaction. Furthermore, it keeps high reversible capacities of 755 and 506 mA h g–1 after 200 cycles at 1 and 2 A g–1, respectively, exhibiting a high-rate cyclability with the lowest coefficient of variance of 9.4% among the reported ones. The confined step-by-step electrochemical catalytic conversion process facilitates high lithium storage capacity and satisfactory cyclability with a pretty low variance coefficient.