SnO2 is a well-studied anode material for lithium ion batteries (LIBs). However, it undergoes severe capacity fading because of a large volume change (∼300%) during cycling. Composites of SnO2 with electro-conductive graphene would deliver improved capacity and rate performance. Nevertheless, achieving the theoretical capacity of SnO2 is still elusive, mainly because of disintegration of the active material from graphene and severe aggregation of SnO2, or Sn nanoparticles produced upon cycling. To surmount these limitations, in this work, nanocomposites containing ultra-fine sized SnO2 nanoparticles (UFSN) with reduced graphene oxide and amorphous carbon were synthesized in a single step at low temperature and environmentally benign way, in which ascorbic acid was employed as the carbon source and reducing agent. UFSN could decrease the lithium ion diffusion path length. As a result of effective buffering effect afforded by the mesoporous structure against volume change and improved lithium ion diffusivity, the ternary nanocomposite achieves ultra-high capacity of 1245 mAh g−1 after 210 cycles at 100 mA g−1 and excellent cycling stability. Since the proposed approach is facile, straightforward, and highly reproducible, it is anticipated that this system would be a potential alternative to the conventional graphite anode for LIBs.
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- SnO nanoparticles
- amorphous carbon
- high capacity