An in situ method of creating metal oxide–carbon composites and their application as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries

Zichao Yang, Jingguo Shen, Lynden A. Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Transition metal oxides are actively investigated as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), and their nanocomposites with carbon frequently show better performance in galvanostatic cycling studies, compared to the pristine metal oxide. An in situ, scalable method for creating a variety of transition metal oxide-carbon nanocomposites has been developed based on free-radical polymerization and cross-linking of poly(acrylonitrile) in the presence of the metal oxide precursor containing vinyl groups. The approach yields a cross-linked polymer network, which uniformly incorporates nanometre-sized transition metal oxide particles. Thermal treatment of the organic-inorganic hybrid material produces nearly monodisperse metal oxide nanoparticles uniformly embedded in a porous carbon matrix. Cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic cycling electrochemical measurements in a lithium half-cell are used to evaluate the electrochemical properties of a Fe3O 4-carbon composite created using this approach. These measurements reveal that when used as the anode in a lithium battery, the material exhibits stable cycling performance at both low and high current densities. We further show that the polymer/nanoparticle copolymerization approach can be readily adapted to synthesize metal oxide/carbon nanocomposites based on different particle chemistries for applications in both the anode and cathode of LIBs. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11092
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This material is based on work supported as part of the Energy Materials Center at Cornell, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001086. JS acknowledges support from Award No. KUS-C1-018-02 made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Facilities available through the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) were used in the study.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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