Soft-Carbon-Coated, Free-Standing, Low-Defect, Hard-Carbon Anode to Achieve a 94% Initial Coulombic Efficiency for Sodium-Ion Batteries
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Developing hard carbon with a high initial Coulombic efficiency (ICE) and very good cycling stability is of great importance for practical sodium-ion batteries (SIBs). Defects and oxygen-containing groups grown along either the carbon edges or the layers, however, are inevitable in hard carbon and can cause a tremendous density of irreversible Na+ sites, decreasing the efficiency and therefore causing failure of the battery. Thus, eliminating these unexpected defect structures is significant for enhancing the battery performance. Herein, we develop a strategy of applying a soft-carbon coating onto free-standing hard-carbon electrodes, which greatly hinders the formation of defects and oxygen-containing groups on hard carbon. The electrochemical results show that the soft-carbon-coated, free-standing hard-carbon electrodes can achieve an ultrahigh ICE of 94.1% and long cycling performance (99% capacity retention after 100 cycles at a current density of 20 mA g-1), demonstrating their great potential in practical sodium storage systems. The sodium storage mechanism was also investigated by operando Raman spectroscopy. Our sodium storage mechanism extends the "adsorption-intercalation-pore filling-deposition"model. We propose that the pore filling in the plateau area might be divided into two parts: (1) sodium could fill in the pores near the inner wall of the carbon layer; (2) when the sodium in the inner wall pores is close to saturation, the sodium could be further deposited onto the existing sodium.
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National Natural Science Foundation of China