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Neuron-Mimic Smart Electrode: A Two-Dimensional Multiscale Synergistic Strategy for Densely Packed and High-Rate Lithium Storage

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posted on 26.07.2019, 17:38 authored by Jia Yu, Yanlei Wang, Long Kong, Shimou Chen, Suojiang Zhang
Conventional microsized and nanosized secondary battery electrodes inevitably suffer from poor rate capability and low tap density, respectively. Inspired by a multipolar neuron consisting of a centric micron-soma and multiple divergent nanodendrites, we propose a smart electrode design based on a two-dimensional (2D) multiscale synergistic strategy, for addressing both of the above problems. As a proof of concept, multiple Zn-doped Co-based regional-nanoarrays are grown on one Co-doped Zn-based micron-star in a 2D mode via a facile one-pot liquid-phase process, serving as a representative neuron-mimic anode for lithium-ion batteries. The 2D assembly well retains the tap density advantage derived from the micron-star subunit. Combined analysis of three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction, Li-storage kinetics, and in situ transmission electron microscopy reveal a smart electrochemical behavior similar to a neuron working mechanism, which significantly enhances rate capability as compared to the single micron-star subunit. A mutual-doping effect also benefits high-rate lithium storage as verified by density functional theory calculations. As expected, superior reversible areal capacity (2.52 mA h cm–2), high long-term capacity retention (<0.024% loss per cycle over 800 cycles after initial 5 cycles), and enhanced rate capability (1 order of magnitude higher than the microsized electrode) are obtained, accompanied by considerable high-temperature endurance.