Silica-Mediated Formation of Nickel Sulfide Nanosheets on CNT Films for Versatile Energy Storage
An effective, nondestructive, and universal strategy to homogeneously modify freestanding carbon nanotube (CNT) films with various active species is essential to achieve functional electrodes for flexible electrochemical energy storage, which is challenging and has attracted considerable research interest. In this work, a generalizable concept, to utilize silicon oxide as the intermediate to uniformly decorate various metal sulfide nanostructures throughout CNT films is reported. Taking nickel sulfide nanosheet/CNT (NS/CNT) films, in which the NS nanosheets are homogeneously attached on the intact few-walled CNTs, as an example, the sheet-like NS provides sufficient active sites for redox reactions and the CNT network acts as an efficient electron highway, maintaining the structural integrity of the composite and also buffering volume changes. These merits enable NS/CNT films to meet the requirements of versatile energy storage applications. When used for supercapacitors, a high specific capacitance (2699.7 F g −1 /10 A g −1 ), outstanding rate performance at extremely high rates (1527 F g −1 /250 A g −1 ), remarkable cycling stability, and excellent flexibility can be achieved, among the best performance so far. Moreover, it also delivers excellent performance in the storage of Li and Na ions, meaning it is also potentially suitable for Li/Na ion batteries.