Skip to main content

Scalable Synthesis and Kinetic Studies of Carbon Coated Sodium Titanate: A Promising Ultra-low Voltage Anode for Sodium Ion Battery


The ultra-low voltage anode, Na2Ti3O7 (NTO) of high specific capacity (177 mAh/g) suffers from low intrinsic electronic conductivity, leading to poor electrochemical performance. Herein, we report the synthesis of carbon-coated Na2Ti3O7 (NTO/C) from indigenously prepared TiO2; where a low-cost organic precursor, resorcinol is used as a carbon source for the first time. Resorcinol derived carbon is beneficial in two ways: (1) increase in electronic conductivity; and (2) promote sodium ion intercalation being electrochemically active. The structural and morphological characterizations are conducted by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy techniques, which confirm the formation of phase pure NTO/C with cuboid-shaped morphology. The carbon coating along with cuboid type morphology together show improved electrochemical performance due to the increase in electronic conductivity and sodium ion diffusivity. The NTO/C shows higher reversible charge capacity of 213 (± 5) mAh/g with 48% capacity retention against 178 (± 5) mAh/g with 24% capacity retention for pristine NTO after 40 cycles. Excellent rate capability is seen for NTO/C; where it shows a stable capacity of 70 (± 5) mAh/g at 2.0 C-rate. The novelty of this present work involves large scale synthesis of carbon-coated Na2Ti3O7 from indigenously prepared TiO2 and low-cost resorcinol as a source of carbon with improved electrochemical performance, which can be used as promising intercalation based anode material for sodium-ion batteries.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Source: Materials Project Open Database). b X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of Na2Ti3O7 and Na2Ti3O7/C. c Thermo gravimetric (TG) analysis plot of Na2Ti3O7/C carried out under air atmosphere showing weight loss due to carbon oxidation. d FT-IR spectra of Na2Ti3O7 and Na2Ti3O7/C

Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  • Alcántara R, Lavela P, Ortiz GF, Tirado JL (2005) Carbon microspheres obtained from resorcinol-formaldehyde as high-capacity electrodes for sodium-ion batteries. Electrochem Solid-State Lett 8:A222–A225

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Araújo-Filho AA, Silva FL, Righi A, da Silva MB, Silva BP, Caetano EW, Freire VN (2017) Structural, electronic and optical properties of monoclinic Na2Ti3O7 from density functional theory calculations: A comparison with XRD and optical absorption measurements. J Solid-State Chem 250:68–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bhardwaj HS, Ramireddy T, Pradeep A, Jangid MK, Srihari V, Poswal HK, Mukhopadhyay A (2018) Understanding the cyclic (in) stability and the effects of presence of a stable conducting network on the electrochemical performances of Na2Ti3O7. ChemElectroChem 5:1219–1229

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cech O, Castkova K, Chladil L, Dohnal P, Cudek P, Libich J, Vanysek P (2017) Synthesis and characterization of Na2Ti6O13 and Na2Ti6O13/Na2Ti3O7 sodium titanates with nanorod-like structure as negative electrode materials for sodium-ion batteries. J Energy Storage 14:391–398

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deng J, Luo WB, Chou SL, Liu HK, Dou SX (2018) Sodium-ion batteries: from academic research to practical commercialization. Adv Energy Mater 8:1701428

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fukuzumi Y, Kobayashi W, Moritomo Y (2016) Size dependent ion diffusion in Na2Ti3O7 and Na2Ti6O13. J Adv Nanomater 1:39

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guo S, Yi J, Sun Y, Zhou H (2016) Recent advances in titanium-based electrode materials for stationary sodium-ion batteries. Energy Environ Sci 9:2978–3006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gür TM (2018) Review of electrical energy storage technologies, materials and systems: challenges and prospects for large-scale grid storage. Energy Environ Sci 11:2696–2767

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holzinger M, Benisek A, Schnelle W, Gmelin E, Maier J, Sitte W (2003) Thermodynamic properties of Na2Ti6O13 and Na2Ti3O7: electrochemical and calorimetric determination. J Chem Thermodyn 35(9):1469–1487

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hwang JY, Myung ST, Sun YK (2017) Sodium-ion batteries: present and future. Chem Soc Rev 46:3529–3614

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim SW, Seo DH, Ma X, Ceder G, Kang K (2012) Electrode materials for rechargeable sodium-ion batteries: potential alternatives to current lithium-ion batteries. Adv Energy Mater 2:710–721

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kubota K, Komaba S (2015) Practical issues and future perspective for Na-ion batteries. J Electrochem Soc 162:A2538–A2550

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li M, Xiao X, Fan X, Huang X, Liu Y, Chen L (2017) Carbon coated sodium-titanate nanotube as an advanced intercalation anode material for sodium-ion batteries. J Alloys Compd 712:365–372

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li L, Zheng Y, Zhang S, Yang J, Shao Z, Guo Z (2018) Recent progress on sodium ion batteries: potential high-performance anodes. Energy Environ Sci 11:2310–2340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liu T, Zhang Y, Jiang Z, Zeng X, Ji J, Li Z, Gao X, Sun M, Lin Z, Ling M, Zheng J (2019) Exploring competitive features of stationary sodium ion batteries for electrochemical energy storage. Energy Environ Sci 12:1512–1533

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Muñoz-Márquez MA, Zarrabeitia M, Castillo-Martínez E, Eguía-Barrio A, Rojo T, Casas-Cabanas M (2015) Composition and evolution of the solid-electrolyte interphase in Na2Ti3O7 electrodes for Na-ion batteries: XPS and Auger parameter analysis. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7:7801–7808

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nava-Avendaño J, Morales-García A, Ponrouch A, Rousse G, Frontera C, Senguttuvan P, Tarascon JM, Arroyo-de Dompablo ME, Palacín MR (2015) Taking steps forward in understanding the electrochemical behavior of Na2Ti3O7. J Mater Chem A 3:22280–22286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pan H, Lu X, Yu X, Hu YS, Li H, Yang XQ, Chen L (2013) Sodium storage and transport properties in layered Na2Ti3O7 for room-temperature sodium-ion batteries. Adv Energy Mater 3:1186–1194

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rudola A, Saravanan K, Mason CW, Balaya P (2013) Na2Ti3O7: an intercalation based anode for sodium-ion battery applications. J Mater Chem 1:2653–2662

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silva FLRE, Filho AAA, da Silva MB, Balzuweit K, Bantignies JL, Caetano EWS, Righi A (2018) Polarized Raman, FTIR, and DFT study of Na2Ti3O7 microcrystals. J Raman Spectroscopy 49:538–548

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trivedi M, Branton A, Trivedi D, Nayak G, Singh R, Jana S (2015) Characterisation of physical, spectral and thermal properties of biofield treated resorcinol. Org Chem Curr Res 4:3

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang W, Yu C, Lin Z, Hou J, Zhu H, Jiao S (2013) Microspheric Na2Ti3O7 consisting of tiny nanotubes: An anode material for sodium-ion batteries with ultrafast charge–discharge rates. Nanoscale 5:594–599

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xia J, Zhao H, Pang WK, Yin Z, Zhou B, He G, Guo Z, Du Y (2018) Lanthanide doping induced electrochemical enhancement of Na2Ti3O7 anodes for sodium-ion batteries. Chem Sci 9:3421–3425

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yabuuchi N, Kubota K, Dahbi M, Komaba S (2014) Research development on sodium-ion batteries. Chem Rev 114:11636–11682

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zarrabeitia M, Castillo-Martínez E, Del Amo JM, Eguía-Barrio A, Muñoz-Márquez MÁ, Rojo T, Casas-Cabanas M (2016) Identification of the critical synthesis parameters for enhanced cycling stability of Na-ion anode material Na2Ti3O7. Acta Mater 104:125–130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang Y, Guo L, Yang S (2014) Three-dimensional spider-web architecture assembled from Na2Ti3O7 nanotubes as a high performance anode for a sodium-ion battery. Chem Comm 50:14029–14032

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from Department of Science and Technology through Technical Research Centre (TRC project: AI/1/65/ARCI/2014) and DST project: DST/TMD/MES/2K17/46, Government of India for the completion of the work. The authors also like to thank Dr. G. Padmanabham, Director, ARCI and Dr. G. Sundararajan, Distinguished Scientist, ARCI for valuable suggestions and continuous support to carry out this work.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bijoy Kumar Das.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 496 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kanta, P.L.M., Venkatesh, M., Yadav, S.K. et al. Scalable Synthesis and Kinetic Studies of Carbon Coated Sodium Titanate: A Promising Ultra-low Voltage Anode for Sodium Ion Battery. Trans Indian Natl. Acad. Eng. 5, 475–483 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Sodium titanates
  • Carbon coating
  • Cuboid morphology
  • Electrochemical performance
  • Anode
  • Sodium-ion battery