Co–B Nanoflakes as Multifunctional Bridges in ZnCo <inf>2</inf> O <inf>4</inf> Micro-/Nanospheres for Superior Lithium Storage with Boosted Kinetics and Stability

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Journal Article
Advanced Energy Materials, 2019, 9 (14)
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© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Transition metal oxides hold great promise as high-energy anodes in next-generation lithium-ion batteries. However, owing to the inherent limitations of low electronic/ionic conductivities and dramatic volume change during charge/discharge, it is still challenging to fabricate practically viable compacted and thick TMO anodes with satisfactory electrochemical performance. Herein, with mesoporous cobalt–boride nanoflakes serving as multifunctional bridges in ZnCo 2 O 4 micro-/nanospheres, a compacted ZnCo 2 O 4 /Co–B hybrid structure is constructed. Co–B nanoflakes not only bridge ZnCo 2 O 4 nanoparticles and function as anchors for ZnCo 2 O 4 micro-/nanospheres to suppress the severe volume fluctuation, they also work as effective electron conduction bridges to promote fast electron transportation. More importantly, they serve as Li + transfer bridges to provide significantly boosted Li + diffusivity, evidenced from both experimental kinetics analysis and density functional theory calculations. The mesopores within Co–B nanoflakes help overcome the large Li + diffusion barriers across 2D interfaces. As a result, the ZnCo 2 O 4 /Co–B electrode delivers high gravimetric/volumetric/areal capacities of 995 mAh g −1 /1450 mAh cm −3 /5.10 mAh cm −2 , respectively, with robust rate capability and long-term cyclability. The distinct interfacial design strategy provides a new direction for designing compacted conversion-type anodes with superior lithium storage kinetics and stability for practical applications.
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