• solvothermal;
  • colloidal;
  • hydrogel;
  • graphene;
  • lithium ion batteries

A novel solvothermal-induced self-assembly approach, using colloid sol as precursor, is developed to construct monolithic 3D metal oxide/GS (graphene sheets) aerogels. During the solvothermal process, graphene oxide (GO) is highly reduced to GS and self-assembles into 3D macroscopic hydrogels, accompanying with in situ transformation of colloid sol to metal oxides. As a proof of concept, Fe2O3/GS aerogels are synthesized based on Fe(OH)3 sol, in which GS self-assemble into an interconnected macroporous framework and Fe2O3 nanocrystals (20–50 nm) uniformly deposit on GS. Benefitting from the integration of macroporous structures, large surface area, high electrical conductivity, and good electrode homogeneity, the hybrid electrode manifests a superior rate capability (930, 660 and 520 mAh g−1 at 500, 2000 and 4000 mA g−1, respectively) and excellent prolonged cycling stability at high rates (733 mAh g−1 during 1000 charge/discharge cycles at 2000 mA g−1), demonstrating its great potential for application in high performance lithium ion batteries. The work described here provides a versatile pathway to construct various graphene-based hybrid aerogels.