ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, vol 7, 43, pp. 24247-24255
A facile scalable synthesis of TiO2/C nanohybrids inspired by polymeric dental restorative materials has been developed, which creates ultrasmall TiO2 nanoparticles homogeneously embedded in the carbon matrix. The average size of the nanoparticles is tuned between about 1 and 5 nm with the carbon content systematically increased from 0% to 65%. Imaging analysis and a scattering technique have been applied to investigate the morphology of the TiO2 nanoparticles. The composition, nature of carbon matrix, crystallinity, and tap density of the TiO2/C nanohybrids have been studied. The application of the TiO2/C nanohybrids as lithium-ion battery anode is demonstrated. Unusual discharge/charge profiles have been exhibited, where characteristic discharge/charge plateaus of crystalline TiO2 are significantly diminished. The tap density, cyclic capacities, and rate performance at high current densities (10 C, 20 C) of the TiO2/C nanohybrid anodes have been effectively improved compared to the bare carbon anode and the TiO2/C nanohybrids with larger particle size.