Effect of N-doping on hard carbon nano-balls as anode for Li-ion battery: improved hydrothermal synthesis and volume expansion study

A Agrawal and K Biswas and SK Srivastava and S Ghosh, JOURNAL OF SOLID STATE ELECTROCHEMISTRY, 22, 3443-3455 (2018).

DOI: 10.1007/s10008-018-4044-6

Using an improved single-step hydrothermal method, mesoporous hard carbon nano-balls, with nitrogen doping, have been successfully synthesized. These materials exhibit good reversible charge capacity during half-cell tests. Gravimetric capacity for undoped nano-sized and micron-sized mesoporous hard carbon balls is 506 and 475mAhg(-1), respectively. After nitrogen doping, the specific gravimetric capacities of both nano- and micron-sized carbon balls increase by 6.9 and 8%, respectively. Nitrogen doping enhances retention in specific capacity of both anode materials, particularly in nano-sized carbon balls with capacity retention of 83.9% after 100cycles. The enhancement is attributed to a significant decrease in volume expansion due to the nitrogen doping. Density functional theory-based computation confirms the reduction of volume expansion by 60%. Improved electrochemical performance of nitrogen-doped hard carbon is due to the drop in volume expansion rate during lithiation along with increased porosity and electronic conductivity. Furthermore, this one-step synthesis can be extended to other carbon sources to get nitrogen-doped hard carbon with sizes varying from micro to nano.

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