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Since Akira Yoshino first proposed the usage of the carbonaceous materials as an anode of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) in 1985, carbonaceous materials such as graphite and graphene have been widely considered as LIB anodes. Here, we explored the application of novel carbonaceous LIB anodes incorporating graphene quantum dots (GQDs). We fabricated a freestanding all-carbon electrode based on a porous carbon nanotube (CNT) sponge via a facile in-situ hydrothermal deposition technique, creating coaxial structure of GQD-coated CNTs (GQD@CNTs) through electrostatic interaction and π-π stacking with tunable loading and functionalization. This hybrid structure combined conductive CNTs with highly active GQDs, in which GQDs with predesigned functional groups provided massive storage sites for Li ions and the 3D CNT frameworks avoided the agglomeration of GQDs, together contributing to a high specific capacity (700 mAh·g-1 at 100 mA·g-1 after 100 cycles) and rate performance. Even at a high current density of 1,000 mA·g-1, the reversible specific capacity remained at 483 mAh·g-1 after 350 cycles. In particular, the mechanism study demonstrated the important role of oxygen functional groups of GQDs in promoting the performance of the LIB anodes by controlled grafting of GQDs onto various porous-carbon and metal-foam based structures.

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Publication history

Received: 05 January 2020
Revised: 11 February 2020
Accepted: 03 March 2020
Published: 07 April 2020
Issue date: April 2020

Copyright

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Acknowledgements

A. Y. C. appreciated the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51672005). S. Y. Y. appreciated the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51872267). Z. X. W. thanks Qihang Gong for his support and encouragement all the time.

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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