Two-Dimensional Arrays of Transition Metal Nitride Nanocrystals

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Journal Article
Advanced Materials, 2019, 31 (33)
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© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim The synthesis of low-dimensional transition metal nitride (TMN) nanomaterials is developing rapidly, as their fundamental properties, such as high electrical conductivity, lead to many important applications. However, TMN nanostructures synthesized by traditional strategies do not allow for maximum conductivity and accessibility of active sites simultaneously, which is a crucial factor for many applications in plasmonics, energy storage, sensing, and so on. Unique interconnected two-dimensional (2D) arrays of few-nanometer TMN nanocrystals not only having electronic conductivity in-plane, but also allowing transport of ions and electrolyte through the porous nanosheets, which are obtained by topochemical synthesis on the surface of a salt template, are reported. As a demonstration of their application in a lithium–sulfur battery, it is shown that 2D arrays of several nitrides can achieve a high initial capacity of >1000 mAh g−1 at 0.2 C and only about 13% degradation over 1000 cycles at 1 C under a high areal sulfur loading (>5 mg cm−2).
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