A facile solvothermal way to immobilize nanocrystalline LiMn 2O4 on the surface of graphene nanosheets is developed to improve the functionality of lithium manganate as lithium intercalation electrode. A solvothermal treatment for the colloidal mixture of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets and LiMn2O4 nanocrystals gives rise not only to the reduction of GO to reduced graphene oxide (RGO) but also to the immobilization of lithium manganate nanoparticles on the surface of RGO nanosheets. According to powder X-ray diffraction and electron microscopic analyses, the crystal structure and morphology of spinel lithium manganate remain intact upon the composite formation with the RGO nanosheets. The application of larger aldehyde molecule as a reductant leads to the increase of crystallinity and the lowering of Mn oxidation state for the pristine LiMn 2O4 and its nanocomposite with the RGO nanosheets. The present LiMn2O4-RGO nanocomposites display promising cathode performances for lithium rechargeable batteries, which are much superior to those of the pristine LiMn2O4 nanocrystals. The observed enhancement of electrode performance upon the composite formation with the RGO nanosheets is attributable both to the improvement of the surface ion transport of nanocrystalline lithium manganate and to the increase of electrical conductivity. The present experimental findings demonstrate that the solvothermal treatment with RGO nanosheets provides an effective way of improving the electrochemical activity of nanocrystalline lithium metal oxides.
- Cathode materials
- Lithium secondary batteries