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Nat Commun. 2019 May 30;10(1):2364. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10305-x.

Atomic-scale combination of germanium-zinc nanofibers for structural and electrochemical evolution.

Author information

1
School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34141, Republic of Korea.
3
Clean Innovation Technology Group, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, 63243, Republic of Korea.
4
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, Richland, WA, 99352, USA.
5
Department of Chemistry, Division of Advanced Materials Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, 37673, Republic of Korea.
6
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, Richland, WA, 99352, USA. Chongmin.Wang@pnnl.gov.
7
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34141, Republic of Korea. idkim@kaist.ac.kr.
8
Department of Chemistry, Division of Advanced Materials Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, 37673, Republic of Korea. soojin.park@postech.ac.kr.

Abstract

Alloys are recently receiving considerable attention in the community of rechargeable batteries as possible alternatives to carbonaceous negative electrodes; however, challenges remain for the practical utilization of these materials. Herein, we report the synthesis of germanium-zinc alloy nanofibers through electrospinning and a subsequent calcination step. Evidenced by in situ transmission electron microscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy characterizations, this one-dimensional design possesses unique structures. Both germanium and zinc atoms are homogenously distributed allowing for outstanding electronic conductivity and high available capacity for lithium storage. The as-prepared materials present high rate capability (capacity of ~ 50% at 20 C compared to that at 0.2 C-rate) and cycle retention (73% at 3.0 C-rate) with a retaining capacity of 546 mAh g-1 even after 1000 cycles. When assembled in a full cell, high energy density can be maintained during 400 cycles, which indicates that the current material has the potential to be used in a large-scale energy storage system.

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