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Encapsulating segment-like antimony nanorod in hollow carbon tube as long-lifespan, high-rate anodes for rechargeable K-ion batteries


K-ion battery (KIB) is a new-type energy storage device that possesses potential advantages of low-cost and abundant resource of potassium. To develop advanced electrode materials for accommodating the large size and high activity of potassium ion is of great interests. Herein, a segment-like antimony (Sb) nanorod encapsulated in hollow carbon tube electrode material (Sb@HCT) was prepared. Beneficial from the virtue of abundant nitrogen doping in carbon tube, one-dimensional and hollow structure advantages, Sb@HCT exhibits excellent potassium storage properties: in the case of potassium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (KFSI) electrolyte, Sb@HCT displays a reversible capacity of up to 453.4 mAh·g−1 at a current density of 0.5 A·g−1 and good rate performance (a capacity of 211.5 mAh·g−1 could be achieved at an ultrahigh rate of 5 A·g−1). Additionally, Sb@HCT demonstrates excellent long-cycle stability at a current density of 2 A·g−1 over 120 cycles. Meanwhile, electrolyte optimization is an effective strategy for greatly improving electrochemical performance. Through ex-situ characterizations, we disclosed the potassiation of Sb anode is quite reversible and undergoes multistep processes, combining solid solution reaction and two-phase reaction.

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We thank Prof. Hans-Eckhardt Schaefer (Stuttgart University) for stimulating discussions and English editing of the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51832004), the National Natural Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 51425204), the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2016YFA0202603), the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (No. B17034), and the Yellow Crane Talent (Science & Technology) Program of Wuhan City.

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Correspondence to Liqiang Mai.

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Encapsulating segment-like antimony nanorod in hollow carbon tube as long-lifespan, high-rate anodes for rechargeable K-ion batteries

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Luo, W., Li, F., Zhang, W. et al. Encapsulating segment-like antimony nanorod in hollow carbon tube as long-lifespan, high-rate anodes for rechargeable K-ion batteries. Nano Res. 12, 1025–1031 (2019).

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  • K-ion battery
  • antimony anode
  • hollow carbon tube encapsulation
  • electrolyte optimization
  • potassium storage mechanism