Inverse opal manganese dioxide constructed by few-layered ultrathin nanosheets as high-performance cathodes for aqueous zinc-ion batteries
Considering the high safety, low-cost and high capacity, aqueous zinc ion batteries have been a potential candidate for energy storage ensuring smooth electricity supply. Herein, we have synthesized inverse opal manganese dioxide constructed by few-layered ultrathin nanosheets by a solution template method at mild temperature. The ultrathin nanosheets with the thickness as small as 1 nm are well separated without obvious aggregation. Used as cathode material for aqueous zinc ion batteries, the few-layered ultrathin nanosheets combined with the inverse opal structure guarantee excellent performance. A high specific discharge capacity of 262.9 mAh·g−1 is retained for the 100th cycle at a current density of 300 mA·g−1 with a high capacity retention of 95.6%. A high specific discharge capacity of 121 mAh·g−1 at a high current density of 2,000 mA·g−1 is achieved even after 5,000 long-term cycles. The ex-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) results demonstrate that the discharge/charge processes involve the reversible formation of zinc sulfate hydroxide hydrate on the cathode while in-plane crystal structure of the layered birnessite MnO2 could be maintained. This unique structured MnO2 is a promising candidate as cathode material for high capacity, high rate capability and long-term aqueous zinc-ion batteries.
Keywordsinverse opal ultrathin few-layered nanosheets MnO2 zinc ion batteries
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The work was financially supported by the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) Investigatorship, award Number NRF2016NRF-NRFI001-22. The authors also acknowledge the Facility for Analysis, Characterization, Testing and Simulation (FACTS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for use of the TEM JEOL 2010UHR, JEOL 2100F, FESEM JEOL 7600F, XPS Kratos AXIS Supra and XRD Bruker D8 Advance facilities.
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