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The geometric size and distribution of magnetic nanoparticles are critical to the morphology of graphene (GN) nanocomposites, and thus they can affect the capacity and cycling performance when these composites are used as anode materials in lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). In this work, Fe3O4 nanorods were deposited onto fully extended nitrogen-doped GN sheets from a binary precursor in two steps, a hydrothermal process and an annealing process. This route effectively tuned the Fe3O4 nanorod size distribution and prevented their aggregation. The transformation of the binary precursor was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XPS analysis indicated the presence of N-doped GN sheets, and that the magnetic nanocrystals were anchored and uniformly distributed on the surface of the flattened N-doped GN sheets. As a high performance anode material, the structure was beneficial for electron transport and exchange, resulting in a large reversible capacity of 929 mA·h·g–1, high-rate capability, improved cycling stability, and higher electrical conductivity. Not only does the result provide a strategy for extending GN composites for use as LiB anode materials, but it also offers a route for the preparation of other oxide nanorods from binary precursors.

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Publication history

Received: 04 November 2015
Revised: 23 December 2015
Accepted: 14 January 2016
Published: 29 September 2016
Issue date: May 2016

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

The work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (No. 51403114), Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (No. BS2014CL025), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2014M56053), Postdoctoral Applied Research Fundation of Qingdao City, Applied Basic Research Programs of Qingdao (No. 14-2-4-62-jch), and Postdoctoral Innovation Funds of Shandong Province (No. 201402015).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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