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Nano Lett. 2013 Oct 9;13(10):4610-9. doi: 10.1021/nl401387s. Epub 2013 Sep 4.

Synthesis of highly stable sub-8 nm TiO2 nanoparticles and their multilayer electrodes of TiO2/MWNT for electrochemical applications.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, ‡Department of Mechanical Engineering, §Department of Materials Science and Engineering and ∥Electrochemical Energy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.


Next-generation electrochemical energy storage for integrated microsystems and consumer electronic devices requires novel electrode materials with engineered architectures to meet the requirements of high performance, low cost, and robustness. However, conventional electrode fabrication processes such as doctor blading afford limited control over the electrode thickness and structure at the nanoscale and require the incorporation of insulating binder and other additives, which can promote agglomeration and reduce active surface area, limiting the inherent advantages attainable from nanoscale materials. We have engineered a route for the synthesis of highly stable, sub-8 nm TiO2 nanoparticles and their subsequent incorporation with acid-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) into nanostructured electrodes using aqueous-based layer-by-layer electrostatic self-assembly. Using this approach, binder-free thin film electrodes with highly controllable thicknesses up to the micrometer scale were developed with well-dispersed, nonagglomerated TiO2 nanoparticles on MWNTs. Upon testing in an Li electrochemical half-cell, these electrodes demonstrate high capacity (>150 mAh/gel(ectrode) at 0.1 A/gel(ectrode)), good rate capability (>100 mAh/gel(ectrode) up to 1 A/g(electrode)) and nearly no capacity loss up to 200 cycles for electrodes with thicknesses up to 1480 nm, indicating their promise as thin-film negative electrodes for future Li storage applications.

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