Challenges of “Going Nano”: Enhanced Electrochemical Performance of Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles by Carbothermal Reduction and In Situ Carbon Coating

Authors

  • Dominic Bresser,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
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  • Dr. Elie Paillard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
    • Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)===

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  • Philip Niehoff,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
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  • Steffen Krueger,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
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  • Franziska Mueller,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Martin Winter,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Stefano Passerini

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)
    2. Helmholtz Institute Ulm, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Albert Einstein Allee 11, 89081 Ulm (Germany)
    • Institute of Physical Chemistry & MEET Battery Research Centre, University of Muenster, Corrensstr. 28/30 & 46, 48149 Muenster (Germany)===

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Abstract

The electrochemical performance of nano- and micron-sized Co3O4 is investigated, highlighting the substantial influence of the specific surface area on the obtainable specific capacities as well as the cycling stability. In fact, Co3O4 materials with a high surface area (i.e. a small particle size) show superior specific features, which are, however, accompanied by a rapid capacity fading, owing to the increased formation of an insulating polymeric surface film that results from transition-metal-catalyzed electrolyte decomposition. The simultaneous coating with carbon of Co3O4 nanoparticles and in situ reduction of the Co3O4 by a carbothermal route yields a CoO[BOND]Co[BOND]C nanocomposite. The formation of this material substantially enhances the long-term cycling stability and coulombic efficiency of the lithium-ion active material used. Although the metallic cobalt enhances the electronic conductivity within the electrode and remains electrochemically inactive (as revealed by in situ powder X-ray diffraction analysis), it might have a detrimental effect on the long-term cycling stability by catalytically inducing continuous electrolyte decomposition.

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