Sodium Storage and Electrode Dynamics of Tin–Carbon Composite Electrodes from Bulk Precursors for Sodium‐Ion BatteriesLatest updated: May 29, 2020
Authors: Thangavelu Palaniselvam Mustafa Goktas Bihag Anothumakkool Ya‐Nan Sun Richard Schmuch Li Zhao Bao‐Hang Han Martin Winter Philipp Adelhelm
DOI: doi.org/10.1002/Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1900790
Here, a Sn–C composite material prepared from bulk precursors (tin metal, graphite, and melamine) using ball milling and annealing is reported. The composite (58 wt% Sn and 42 wt% N‐doped carbon) shows a capacity up to 445 mAh gSn+C−1 and an excellent cycle life (1000 cycles). For the graphite, the ball milling leads to graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) for which the storage mechanism changes from solvent co‐intercalation to conventional intercalation. The final composite (Sn at nitrogen‐doped graphite nanoplatelets (SnNGnP)) is obtained by combining the GnPs with Sn and melamine as the nitrogen source. Rate‐dependent measurements and in situ X‐ray diffraction are used to study the asymmetric storage behavior of Sn, which shows a more sloping potential profile during sodiation and more defined steps during desodiation. The disappearance of two redox plateaus during desodiation is linked to the preceding sodiation current density (memory effect). The asymmetric behavior is also found by in situ electrochemical dilatometry. This method also shows that the effective electrode expansion during sodiation is much smaller (about +14%) compared to what is expected from Sn (+420%), which gives a reasonable explanation for the excellent cycle life for the SnNGnP (and likely other nanocomposites in general). Next to the advantages, challenges, which result from the nanocomposite approach, are also discussed.