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We report on the ice-templated preparation and sodium storage of ultrasmall SnO2 nanoparticles (3-4 nm) embedded in three-dimensional (3D) graphene (SnO2@3DG). SnO2@3DG was fabricated by hydrothermal assembly with ice-templated 3DG and a tin source. The structure and morphology analyses showed that 3DG has an interconnected porous architecture with a large pore volume of 0.578 cm3·g-1 and a high surface area of 470.5 m2·g-1. In comparison, SnO2@3DG exhibited a pore volume of 0.321 cm3·g-1 and a surface area of 237.7 m2·g-1 with a homogeneous distribution of ultrasmall SnO2 nanoparticles in a 3DG network. SnO2@3DG showed a discharge capacity of 1, 155 mA·h·g-1 in the initial cycle, a reversible capacity of 432 mA·h·g-1 after 200 cycles at 100 mA·g-1 (with capacity retention of 85.7% relative to that in the second cycle), and a discharge capacity of 210 mA·h·g-1 at a high rate of 800 mA·g-1. This is due to the high distribution of SnO2 nanoparticles in the 3DG network and the enhanced facilitation of electron/ion transport in the electrode.

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Publication history

Received: 23 July 2014
Revised: 15 September 2014
Accepted: 10 October 2014
Published: 21 November 2014
Issue date: January 2015

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Programs) (No. 2011CB935900), the National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) (No. 51231003), Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China (No. IRT13R30 and B12015), and Tianjin High-Tech (No. 13JCQNJC06400 and 12ZCZDJC35300).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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