Solvent engineered synthesis of layered SnO for high-performance anodes

Sonia Jaśkaniec, Seán R. Kavanagh, João Coelho, Seán Ryan, Christopher Hobbs, Aron Walsh, David O. Scanlon, Valeria Nicolosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Batteries are the most abundant form of electrochemical energy storage. Lithium and sodium ion batteries account for a significant portion of the battery market, but high-performance electrochemically active materials still need to be discovered and optimized for these technologies. Recently, tin(II) oxide (SnO) has emerged as a highly promising battery electrode. In this work, we present a facile synthesis method to produce SnO microparticles whose size and shape can be tailored by changing the solvent nature. We study the complex relationship between wet-chemistry synthesis conditions and resulting layered nanoparticle morphology. Furthermore, high-level electronic structure theory, including dispersion corrections to account for van der Waals forces, is employed to enhance our understanding of the underlying chemical mechanisms. The electronic vacuum alignment and surface energies are determined, allowing the prediction of the thermodynamically favoured crystal shape (Wulff construction) and surface-weighted work function. Finally, the synthesized nanomaterials were tested as Li-ion battery anodes, demonstrating significantly enhanced electrochemical performance for morphologies obtained from specific synthesis conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Journalnpj 2D Materials and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.J. and V.N. would like to thank the following funding support: Science Foundation Ireland (AMBER) and European Research Council (CoG and 3D2DPrint). Microscopy characterization and analysis has been performed at the CRANN Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML S.R.K. acknowledges the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (CDT-ACM) (EP/S023259/1) for funding a PhD studentship and the Imperial College Research Computing Service ( for computational resources. Via membership of the UK’s HEC Materials Chemistry Consortium, which is funded by the EPSRC (EP/L000202, EP/R029431), this work used the ARCHER UK National Supercomputing Service ( and the UK Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub (Thomas). D.O.S. and A.W. acknowledge funding from the Faraday Institution (FIRG003). S.R. wishes to thank the Irish Research Council (GOIPG/ 2019/2428) for funding a PhD studentship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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