Tin monoxide (SnO) nanosheets 5 nm in thickness are generated on substrates through an aqueous solution process under mild conditions. Parallel control of the oxidation state and morphology is achieved by a urea-mediated approach in aqueous solution. The SnO nanosheets form a porous thin film on substrates such as indium tin oxide and carbon nanofiber (CNF). The porous thin film of SnO nanosheets shows cathodic photocurrent generation upon irradiation by UV and visible light. In contrast, the photocurrent is not observed in the bulk SnO microcrystals. Composites of the SnO nanosheets and CNF perform as the anode material of lithium-ion batteries with improved charge–discharge reversible stability.
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