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SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 62, Issue 4: 465-473(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-018-9338-6

Facile fabrication of interconnected-mesoporous T-Nb2O5 nanofibers as anodes for lithium-ion batteries

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  • ReceivedJul 16, 2018
  • AcceptedAug 9, 2018
  • PublishedSep 10, 2018

Abstract

Niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) has been extensively studied as anode materials for lithium ion batteries (LIBs) due to its good rate performance and safety advantages. However, the intrinsic low electronic conductivity has largely restricted its practical application. In this work, we report the construction of mesoporous T-Nb2O5 nanofibers by electrospinning followed by heat treatment in air. The interconnected mesoporous structure ensures a high surface area with easy electrolyte penetration. When used as anodes for LIBs, the mesoporous Nb2O5 electrode delivers a high reversible specific capacity of 238 mA h g−1 after 1,000 cycles at a current density of 1 A g−1 within a voltage range of 0.01–3.0 V. Even at a higher discharge cut-off voltage window of 1.0–3.0 V, it still possesses a high reversible capacity of 166 mA h g−1 after 200 cycles. Moreover, the porous Nb2O5 electrode also exhibits excellent rate capability. The enhanced electrochemical performances are attributed to the synergistic effects of porous nanofiber structure and unique crystal structure of T-Nb2O5, which has endowed this material a large electrode-electrolyte contact area with improved electronic conductivity.


Funded by

The authors are grateful to the financial supports from Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province in China(2018JJ1036)

the Innovation Program of Central South University(2017CX001)


Acknowledgment

The authors are grateful to the financial supports from the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province in China (2018JJ1036), and the Innovation Program of Central South University (2017CX001).


Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Contributions statement

Lou L and Kong X performed the experiments and wrote the article; Zhu T and Lin J performed the data analysis; Pan A drew up the experimental method. All authors contributed to the general discussion.


Author information

Linzhen Lou is a postgraduate student in Professor Anqiang Pan’s Group and will receive his MSc degree in the School of Materials Science and Engineering from Central South University. His current research interest is niobium-based materials for anode of lithium ion battery.


Xiangzhong Kong is a PhD candidate student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering from Central South University under the supervision of Professor Anqiang Pan. His research interest is silicon-based anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.


Anqiang Pan is currently a full professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Central South University. He worked as visiting students at the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Then he worked at Nanyang Technological University as a Research Fellow in 2011. He has published >100 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His current interests are rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and catalysts.


Supplement

Supplementary information

Supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.


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  • Figure 1

    The illustration of the formation process of porous Nb2O5 nanofibers (a); SEM (b, c), elemental mapping (d) and TEM (e–g) images of the porous Nb2O5 nanofibers after heat treatment.

  • Figure 2

    TG and DSC results of the Nb2O5 nanofiber precursors from room temperature to 800°C in air with a temperature ramping rate of 10°C min−1 (a) and the XRD pattern of the Nb2O5 nanofiber after heat treatment (b).

  • Figure 3

    N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms (a) and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) pore size distribution curve (b) of the obtained porous Nb2O5 nanofibers.

  • Figure 4

    The initial three CV curves of the Nb2O5 nanofibers at a scan of 0.1 mV s−1 with the voltage ranges of (a) 0.01–3.0 V; (b) 1.0–3.0 V vs. Li/Li+. Galvanostatic charge-discharge profiles of the Nb2O5 nanofibers at a current density of 0.1 A g−1 with the voltage ranges of (c) 0.01–3.0 V, (d) 1.0–3.0 V vs. Li/Li+; (e) cycle performance of the Nb2O5 nanofibers at a current density of 0.1 A g−1; (f) rate performances of the Nb2O5 nanofibers and commercial Nb2O5, and Coulombic efficiency of Nb2O5 nanofibers at different rates.

  • Figure 5

    (a) Cycle performances at a current density of 1 A g−1; (b) Nyquist plots of the Nb2O5 nanofibers and commercial Nb2O5 electrodes, respectively.

  • Table 1   Comparison of several NbO anode materials used in lithium-ion batteries

    Materials

    Specific capacity (mA h g−1)

    Current density (mA g−1)

    Cycles (n)

    Voltage (V)

    Ref.

    Nb2O5 nanofibers

    238

    1000

    1000

    0.01–3.0

    This work

    166

    1000

    200

    1.0–3.0

    Nb2O5 nanobelts

    150

    100

    50

    1.0–3.0

    [38]

    Nb2O5 hollow spheres

    172

    100

    250

    1.0–3.0

    [34]

    Nb2O5/C

    130

    200

    300

    1.0–3.0

    [43]

    Nb2O5 nanosheets

    83

    1000

    200

    1.0–3.0

    [39]

    Nb2O5/C nanotube

    185

    5000

    200

    0.01–3.0

    [36]

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