Synthesis of carbon coated nanocrystalline porous a-LiFeO2 composite and its application as anode for the lithium ion battery
In this work, we describe for the first time a high surface area nanocrystalline porous α-LiFeO2-C composite anode material synthesized by a simple molten salt method, followed by a carbon coating process. The synthesized nanocomposite presents an interconnected porous architecture, as was confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscope observations. Transmission electron microscope investigations revealed that amorphous carbon was incorporated into the pores among the nanoparticles and that some nanoparticles were covered by a thin layer of amorphous carbon as well. Electrochemical measurements showed that the carbon played an important role, as it affected both the cycle life and the rate capability of the electrode. The α-LiFeO2-C nanocomposite electrode delivered a higher reversible capacity and good cycle stability (540 mAh g−1 at 1 C after 200 cycles) compared to the pure α-LiFeO2 electrode. Good electrochemical performance of the α-LiFeO2-C nanocomposite electrode could be attributed to the porous conductive architecture among the nanoparticles, which not only has benefits in terms of decreasing the absolute volume changes and increasing the mobility of lithium ions, but also offers conductive pathways along the whole interconnected wall in the structure, which is favourable for the transport of electrons, promotes liquid electrolyte diffusion into the bulk material, and acts as a buffer zone to absorb the volume changes. Our results indicate that α-LiFeO2-C nanocomposite could be considered as a potential anode material for lithium-ion batteries.