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Hollow Cocoon-Like Hematite Mesoparticles of Nanoparticle Aggregates: Structural Evolution and Superior Performances in Lithium Ion Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 26.02.2014, 00:00 by Jian Zhu, K. Y. Simon Ng, Da Deng
We report the facile, fast, and template-free preparation of hollow α-Fe2O3 with unique cocoon-like structure by a one-pot hydrothermal method without any surfactants in a short reaction time of 3 h only. In contrast, typical hydrothermal methods to prepare inorganic hollow structures require 24 h or a few days. Templates and/or surfactants are typically used. The hollow α-Fe2O3 nanococoon was thoroughly characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Ex situ analysis of a series of samples prepared at different reaction times clearly revealed the structural evolution and possible formation mechanism. Superior electrochemical performance in terms of cyclability, specific capacity, and high rate was achieved, which could be attributed to its unique hollow cocoon-like structure. Structural stability was revealed by analyzing the samples after 120 charge–discharge cycles. The unusual structural stability of the hollow α-Fe2O3 nanococoons after 120 cycles, which is rarely observed for transition metal oxides of particle aggregates, will guarantee further research investigation. Experimental evidence further demonstrated that hollow nanococoons exceed solid nanococoons in reversible lithium-ion storage.

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