Core-Shell C@Sb Nanoparticles as a Nucleation Layer for High-Performance Sodium Metal Anodes
Sodium metal anode (SMA) is one of the most favored choices for the next-generation rechargeable battery technologies owing to its low cost and natural abundance. However, the poor reversibility resulted from dendrite growth and formation of unstable solid electrolyte interphase has significantly hindered the practical application of SMAs. Herein, we report that a nucleation buffer layer comprising elaborately designed core-shell C@Sb nanoparticles (NPs) enables the homogeneous electrochemical deposition of sodium metal for long-term cycling. These C@Sb NPs can increase active sites for initial sodium nucleation through Sb-Na alloy cores and keep these cores stable through carbon shells. The assembled cells with this nucleation layer can deliver continuously repeated sodium plating/stripping cycles for nearly 6000 h at a high areal capacity of 4 mA h cm-2 with an average Coulombic efficiency 99.7%. This ingenious structure design of alloy-based nucleation agent opens up a promising avenue to stabilize sodium metal with targeted properties.