SnSb@carbon nanocable anchored on graphene sheets for sodium ion batteries
The development of materials with unique nanostructures is an effective strategy for the improvement of sodium storage in sodium ion batteries to achieve stable cycling performance and good rate capability. In this work, SnSbcore/carbon-shell nanocables directly anchored on graphene sheets (GS) were synthesized by the hydrothermal technique and chemical vapor deposition. The simultaneous carbon coating and the encapsulation of SnSb alloy is effective for alleviating the volume-change problem in sodium ion batteries. After optimizing the electrolyte for SnSb in the sodium ion batteries, the optimized coaxial SnSb/carbon nanocable/GS (SnSb/CNT@GS) nanostructure demonstrated stable cycling capability and rate performance in 1 M NaClO4 with propylene carbonate (PC) + 5% fluoroethylene carbonate (FEC). The SnSb/CNT@GS electrode can retain a capacity of 360 mAh/g for up to 100 cycles, which is 71% of the theoretical capacity. This is higher than in the other three electrolytes tested (1 M NaClO4 in PC, 1 M NaClO4 in PC/FEC (1:1 v/v) and 1 M NaPF6 + PC), and higher than that of the sample without the addition of graphene. The good electrochemical performance can be attributed to the efficient buffering provided by the outer carbon nanocable layer and the graphene inhibiting the agglomeration of SnSb particles, as well as its high conductivity.