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Title: The improvement of electrochemical performance of SnO2-based nanocomposites as anodes for lithium ion and sodium ion batteries
Author: Lu, Xiaoxiao
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Nowadays, low carbon economy becomes a significant topic over the world. Due to the decreasing amount of fossil energy source and the worsening environmental pollution, traditional energy sources should be transferred to renewable energy sources. A transition to renewable energy will require radical changes to systems and technologies for energy storage. Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries are now considered as the most important electrochemical energy source for portable devices, electrical vehicles and expected to be used in grid electrical energy storage. Beside on Li-ion batteries, sodium ion (Na-ion) batteries are another promising energy source, which have the advantages in cost, safety and environmental factors, and they could be used for stationary energy storage systems and large vehicles. Tin-based nanocomposites are promising to replace the traditional graphite for Li-ion batteries to achieve a higher battery performance. In 2005, Sony Corporation launched the first Sn-based anode Li-ion batteries (Nexelion) to obtain a 50% increase in volumetric capacity over the conventional battery, which marked Li-ion batteries to enter into a new cutting edge. However, Sn-based materials faced with challenges. The battery performance was limited by a low cycling life and low rate performance, and methods should be devised to overcome these shortcomings. In this thesis, SnO2-based nanocomposites, including the graphene-SnO2, the carbon-coated graphene-SnO2 and the carbon-coated nanostructured SnO2 have been prepared and investigated as anodes for Li-ion and Na-ion batteries. The microstructure, electrochemical performances and even the degradation mechanisms have been investigated as the effects for different composite materials. Chapter 4 reports an amorphous carbon coated graphene-SnO2 composite which exhibited an enhanced cycling stability. In previous researches, the performance enhancements of that type of materials were commonly attributed to the carbon coating enhancing the electronic conductivity. However, it is found that the carbon coating deeply relates to the microstructure stability of the active materials, the performance enhancement can be attributed to the enhancement of structural stability. Chapter 5 reports same composites with various graphene to amorphous carbon mass ratios. In this chapter, we try to find out the optimized composition and understanding the different roles of graphene and amorphous carbon in that type of composites. It is found that an optimised graphene to carbon mass ratio can effectively enhance the structural stability and the electrode conductivity. Chapter 6 reports a carbon-coated flower-like nanostructured SnO2 for Na-ion battery application, which has been demonstrated to have a high reversible capacity and high rate performance. The carbon coating is found to help in the formation of a high quality solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer on the surface of the active materials. These researches focus on modifying SnO2 and SnO2-based materials by carbon coating technologies, which aim to develop novel electrode materials to obtain a better battery performance for Li-ion and Na-ion batteries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: lithium battery ; SnO2 ; graphene ; nanocomposite ; Na-ion battery ; electrochemistry