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New coating technique finds application in next-generation lithium battery anodes

(a, b, c) Micrographs of graphene-tin oxide composites and (d) selected area diffraction (SAED) of a coated sheet. Image credit: S. Sladkevich, et al. ©2012 IOP Publishing Ltd (Phys.org)—When Ovadia Lev, Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Health at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his research team developed a new coating technology a few years ago, they thought it was an interesting outcome of their research in hydrogen peroxide solutions. However, they weren’t sure what to do with it until they met a team of researchers looking for a simple way to synthesize new lithium-ion battery anode materials, such as graphene-tin oxide composites. Ads by Google 2013 Chevrolet Volt – Compare The New Chevy Volt & See How it Outperforms The Competition – www.Chevrolet.com/Volt “For several years now, my laboratory, in collaboration with my former postdoctoral student and current research partner, Dr. Petr Prikhodchenko, has been researching sol-gel chemistry in hydrogen-peroxide-rich solutions,” Lev told Phys.org. “One of the outcomes of this research was a technology to coat particulates by nanometric metal oxide dots. We started looking for an appealing demonstrating application that would bring to light the advantages of our coating procedure. In a way, we had a medicine and were looking for a suitable illness. “Then, my laboratory became involved in a collaboration between Israel and Singapore supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation under its CREATE program: Nanomaterials for Energy and Water Management, and our Singaporean partners soon realized that lithium-ion battery anodes can greatly benefit from the flexibility and simplicity of our particulate coating approach.” Battery researchers find graphene-tin oxide attractive as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries for three main reasons: it has a high theoretical charging capacity, the graphene has high conductivity, and the graphene oxide and tin oxide nanocrystals are in close contact. The problem is that synthesizing these composites, which involves coating an ultra-thin layer of tin oxide nanocrystals on a sheet of graphene oxide, has previously been an expensive, high-temperature process. But by using the new coating technology, the researchers found that they could synthesize graphene-tin oxide composites at room temperature, without complicated infrastructure, at a reduced cost, and in an environmentally friendly way. Ads by Google Ford Focus Electric – Gas-Free, 100% Electric! The 2012 Ford Focus Electric. – www.ford.com/electric/focuselectric/2012/ Lev, Prikhodchenko, and their coauthors, from institutions in Israel, Russia, and Singapore, have published their study on the improved synthesis method in a recent issue of Nanotechnology. As the researchers explain, the new particulate coating technology uses hydrogen peroxide to induce the formation and deposition of tin oxide nanocrystals on graphene oxide. In a previous study, the researchers found that hydrogen peroxide promotes the formation of a tin oxide coating through several chemical mechanisms, such as promoting bonding and preventing particle aggregation.

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