Synthesis of monodisperse mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres from a simple double-surfactant assembly-directed method for lithium storage

Hongwei Zhu, Yesheng Shang, Yunke Jing, Yang Liu, Yupu Liu, Ahmed Mohamed El-Toni, Fan Zhang, Dongyuan Zhao

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Exploring facile and reproducible methods to prepare mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres is crucial for improving the performance of TiO2 materials for energy conversion and storage. Herein, we report a simple and reproducible double-surfactant assembly-directed method to prepare monodisperse mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres. A double-surfactant system of n-dodecylamine (DDA) and Pluronic F127 was adopted to control the hydrolysis and condensation rates of tetrabutyl titanate in a mixture of water and alcohol at room temperature. In this process, the diameter size of mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres can be simply tuned from ∼50 to 250 nm by varying the concentration of H2O and surfactants. The double-surfactant system of DDA and F127 plays an effective role in determining the size, morphology, and monodispersity of mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres to reduce agglomeration during the sol-gel process. The resultant mesoporous anatase TiO2 nanospheres after solvothermal treatment at 160 °C are built of interpenetrating nanocrystals with a size of ∼10 nm, which are arranged to obtain a large number of connecting mesopores. Mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres with a small diameter size of around 50 nm possess a high surface area (∼160 m2/g) and mesopores with sizes of 4-30 nm. The small diameter size, high crystallinity, and mesoporous structure of TiO2 nanospheres lead to excellent performance in cycling stability and rate capability for lithium-ion batteries. After 500 cycles, the monodisperse mesoporous TiO2 nanospheres exhibit a charge capacity as high as 156 mAhg-1 without obvious fade, and the Coulombic efficiency can reach up to 100%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25586-25594
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Mesoporous materials
  • Titania colloids
  • Nanospheres
  • Synthesis
  • Lithium storage
  • Surfactant assembly
  • Sol-gel process

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