• carbon;
  • electrochemistry;
  • electron microscopy;
  • nanotubes;
  • x-ray diffraction
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The Cover Picture shows how the aggregation of carbon/metal oxide core–shell arrays used as anodes for lithium ion batteries can be avoided by externally coating carbon to form carbon/metal oxide/carbon sandwich arrays. The volume of the metal oxide film is enlarged significantly during lithiation because of its high lithium ion storage capacity. This results in the formation of an interface between the adjacent metal oxide films, which causes aggregation and thus capacity fading. External carbon coating is a powerful strategy to suppress the formation of this interface between metal oxides and thus prevent aggregation. The lithium ion storage performance is improved as a result of the external carbon layer, which increases the rate capability by enhancing electrical conductivity and maintaining a low mass-transfer resistance, and improves cyclic stability by avoiding aggregation and stabilizing the solid electrolyte interface. More detail is given in the Full Paper by Chen et al. on page 1335 (DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201300461), while more information about the research group is available in the Cover Profile (DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201400094).