Single-crystalline α-Fe2O3 nanohexahedron as outstanding anode material for lithium-ion batteries

  • Jinxiang Diao
  • Gang Wang
  • Shenghua MaEmail author
  • Xiaojie LiuEmail author
Research Paper


In this paper, single-crystalline hexahedron hematite is successfully obtained by a simple hydrothermal approach with assistance of PVP as surfactant. SEM and XRD results show that the as-obtained α-Fe2O3 has a nanohexahedron shape with high uniformity and high crystallinity. The effects of a few factors influencing the morphology of α-Fe2O3, such as PVP amount, reaction temperature, etc., are investigated carefully. More importantly, time-dependent experiments are carried out to have in-depth insight into the formation of the single-crystalline α-Fe2O3 nanohexahedron. Based on the full characterization of as-obtained α-Fe2O3, it is concluded that PVP as surfactant plays an important role in the formation of the hexahedron shape of α-Fe2O3. Besides, the proposed formation mechanism of α-Fe2O3 nanohexahedron is that the shape of α-Fe2O3 evolves from the nuclei, needle-like shapes, and urchin-like aggregates to the hexahedron shape, driven by minimization of surface energy and Ostwald ripening. When used as an anode material for lithium-ion batteries, nanohexahedron α-Fe2O3 shows a high rate capability. Moreover, after 150 cycles, the storage capacity of α-Fe2O3 is still up to 680 mAh g−1 and almost remains unchanged, suggesting high cyclability.

Graphical Abstract


Iron oxide Hydrothermal method PVP Anode material Lithium-ion batteries Energy storage 


Funding information

We acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21601144), Xi’an Science and Technology Project-Engineering program of University and Institute Talents Servicing Enterprise (2017085CG/RC048(XBDX006)), and the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (No. 2017JM2025).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4207_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16170 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry & Materials ScienceNorthwest UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Aeronautical Polytechnic InstituteXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.National Key Laboratory of Photoelectric Technology and Functional Materials (Culture Base), National Photoelectric Technology and Functional Materials & Application International Cooperation Base, Institute of Photonics & Photon-TechnologyNorthwest UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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