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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Aug 28;5(16):7881-5. doi: 10.1021/am401978t. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Investigation of modified graphene for energy storage applications.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas, El Paso, Texas 79968, USA.


Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have been receiving extensive attention because of the high specific energy density for wide applications such as electronic vehicles, commercial mobile electronics, and military applications. In LIB, graphite is the most commonly used anode material; however, lithium-ion intercalation in graphite is limited, hindering the battery charge rate and capacity. To overcome this obstacle, nanostructured anode assembly has been extensively studied to increase the lithium-ion diffusion rate. Among these approaches, high specific surface area metal oxide nanowires connecting nanostructured carbon materials accumulation have shown propitious results for enhanced lithium intercalation. Recently, nanowire/graphene hybrids were developed for the enhancement of LIB performance; however, almost all previous efforts employed nanowires on graphene in a random fashion, which limited lithium-ion diffusion rate. Therefore, we demonstrate a new approach by hydrothermally growing uniform nanowires on graphene aerogel to further improve the performance. This nanowire/graphene aerogel hybrid not only uses the high surface area of the graphene aerogel but also increases the specific surface area for electrode-electrolyte interaction. Therefore, this new nanowire/graphene aerogel hybrid anode material could enhance the specific capacity and charge-discharge rate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used for materials characterization. Battery analyzer and potentio-galvanostat are used for measuring the electrical performance of the battery. The testing results show that nanowire graphene hybrid anode gives significantly improved performance compared to graphene anode.

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