Interlayer-Expanded Metal Sulfides on Graphene Triggered by a Molecularly Self-Promoting Process for Enhanced Lithium Ion Storage
A general synthetic approach has been demonstrated to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) structured metal sulfides@graphene, employing few-layered sulfide nanostructures with expanded interlayer spacing of the (002) plane (e.g., 0.98 nm for MoS 2 nanoclusters and 0.65 nm for VS 4 nanoribbons) and electrically conductive graphene as ideal building blocks. Here, small molecules (thioacetamide) acting as both the sulfur source and, more importantly, the structure-directing agent adjusting the interlayer spacing are wisely selected, further contributing to a sufficient space for ultrafast Li + ion intercalation. The appealing features of a mechanically robust backbone, ultrathin thickness, abundant exposure of interlayer edges, and good electrical conductivity in such 3D architectures are favorable for providing easy access for the electrolyte to the structures and offering a shortened diffusion length of Li + when utilized for energy storage. As a proof of concept, the electrochemical behavior of the resulting 3D structured metal sulfides@graphene as an anode material of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) is systematically investigated. As a consequence, high specific capacities, long lifespans, and superior rate capabilities have been realized in such well-designed architectures, e.g. maintaining a specific capacity as high as 965 mAh g -1 for 120 cycles for VS 4 @graphene and 1100 mAh g -1 for 150 cycles for MoS 2 @graphene.