The electrochemical performance of nanocomposites could greatly be improved by rationally designing flexible coreshell heterostructures. Typically, the uniform coating of a thin mesoporous crystalline transition metal oxide shell on flexible graphitized carbon supports can provide both fast ion and electron transport pathways, which is an ideal material for highperformance lithiumion batteries. Herein, we report a surfactanttemplating assembly coating method to deposit an ultrathin mesoporous crystalline TiO2 shell on flexible graphitized carbon supports by using amphiphilic triblock copolymer Pluronic F127 as a template. Taking multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as an example support, the obtained flexible CNTs@mTiO2 hybrid mesoporous nanocables exhibit an ultrahigh surface area (∼137 m2/g), large internal pore volume (∼0.26 cm3/g), uniform accessible mesopores (∼6.2 nm) and ultrathin highlycrystalline mesoporous anatase shells (∼20 nm in thickness). As an anode material for lithium battery, the flexible CNTs@mTiO2 hybrid mesoporous nanocables show highrate capacity (∼210 mA h g−1 at 20 C, 1 C=170 mA g−1), high Coulombic efficiency (nearly 100% during 1000 cycles at 20 C) and ultralongcycling life (keeping ∼210 mAh g−1 after 1000 cycles at 20 C). The strong synergistic coupling effect between CNT cores and thin mesoporous TiO2 shells, high surface area, accessible large pores and highly crystalline thin mesoporous shells result in excellent performance in lithium batteries. This versatile surfactanttemplating assembly coating method can be easily extended to deposit an ultrathin mesoporous TiO2 layer on flat graphene (GR) to form a uniform sandwichlike flexible GR@mTiO2 nanoflakes, which opens up a new opportunity for depositing thin mesoporous transitionmetal oxides on graphitized carbon supports for advanced applications in energy conversion and storage, photocatalysis, sensors and drug delivery, etc.
Liu, Y., Elzatahry, A. A., Luo, W., Lan, K., Zhang, P., Fan, J., Wei, Y., Wang, C., Deng, Y., Zheng, G., Zhang, F., Tang, Y., Mai, L., & Zhao, D. (2016). Surfactant-templating strategy for ultrathin mesoporous TiO2 coating on flexible graphitized carbon supports for high-performance lithium-ion battery. Nano Energy, 25, 80-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.04.028