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Ion-Catalyzed Synthesis of Microporous Hard Carbon Embedded with Expanded Nanographite for Enhanced Lithium/Sodium Storage
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138(45):14915-14922 Nov 2016

Yu, Zhi-Long; Xin, Sex; You, Ya; Yu, Le; Lin, Yue; Xu, Da-Wei; Qiao, Chan; Huang, Zhi-Hong; Yang, Ning; Yu, Shu-Hong; Goodenough, John B.

Hard carbons attract myriad interest as anode materials for high-energy rechargeable batteries due to their low costs and high theoretical capacities; practically, they deliver unsatisfactory performance due to their intrinsically disordered microarchitecture. Here we report a facile ion-catalyzed synthesis of a phenol–formaldehyde resin-based hard-carbon aerogel that takes advantage of the chelation effect of phenol and Fe3+, which consists of a three-dimensionally interconnected carbon network embedded with hydrogen-rich, ordered microstructures of expanded nanographites and carbon micropores. The chelation effect ensures the homodispersion of Fe in the polymer segments of the precursor, so that an effective catalytic conversion from spto spcarbon occurs, enabling free rearrangement of graphene sheets into expanded nanographite and carbon micropores. The structural merits of the carbon offer chances to achieve lithium/sodium storage performance far beyond that possible with the conventional carbon anode materials, including graphite and mesocarbon microbeads, along with fast kinetics and long cycle life. In this way, our hard carbon proves its feasibility to serve as an advanced anode material for high-energy rechargeable Li/Na batteries.

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