Fabrication of SnO2 Asymmetric Membranes for High Performance Lithium Battery Anode

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ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces






Alloy electrode material like tin dioxide (SnO2) possesses much higher specific capacity as compared to commercial graphite anode in lithium ion battery (783 vs 372 mAh g–1). However, the huge volume change (260%) of SnO2-based anode during the alloying and dealloying process can cause significant electrode pulverization and rapid capacity loss. Herein we report the synthesis of SnO2 asymmetric membranes via a unique combination of phase inversion and sol–gel chemistry to overcome this big challenge. The SnO2 asymmetric membrane electrode demonstrates a specific capacity of 500 mAh g–1 based on the overall electrode mass at a current density of 280 mA g–1 (∼0.5C) with >96% capacity retention after 400 cycles. When the current density is increased from 28 to 560 mA g–1, its overall capacity is only reduced by 36%. Such an outstanding rate and cycling performance is attributed to the existence of networking porous structure in the membrane that can provide high electrical conductivity, multiple diffusion channels, and free volumes for electrode expansion. The carbonization temperature has a dramatic impact on the electrode performance. Membranes carbonized at 500 °C show an excellent cycling performance, whereas the capacity of the membrane carbonized at 800 °C decreases by 51% in 100 cycles. Such a drastic difference in cycle life is caused by the reduction of small SnO2 NPs (∼3.9 nm) into large metallic tin spheres (∼40 nm) at 800 °C. This is the first original report on using asymmetric membrane structure to stabilize an SnO2-based lithium ion battery anode with an excellent electrochemical performance.