Chalmers team develops graphite-like anode for Na-ion batteries; Janus graphene

Researchers at Chalmers College of Know-how, Sweden, have developed a nanometric graphite-like anode for sodium ion (Na+ storage), shaped by stacked graphene sheets functionalized solely on one aspect, termed Janus graphene. The estimated sodium storage as much as C6.9Na is similar to graphite for normal lithium ion batteries.

The method, reported in an open-access paper in Science Advances, gives a solution to design carbon-based supplies for sodium-ion batteries.

Lithium ions can intercalate reversibly in graphite with excessive Li+ loadings, as much as C6Li, yielding a particular capability of 372 mA h g−1 with the formation of binary graphite intercalation compounds (binary GICs). This nanoscale and reversible course of is now on the base of most batteries. Sodium could be a less expensive, extra considerable various cost service in contrast with lithium for batteries, however sadly, it could attain solely decrease loadings in graphite, with a stoichiometry of C64Na and a corresponding capability of ~35 mA h g−1.

The poor Na+ intercalation was initially attributed to the small interlayer distance of graphite, blocking intercalation of the massive sodium ions. Nevertheless, this can’t be the one cause, as experimental proof exhibits that potassium ions or solvated Na+ (e.g., diethylene glycol dimethyl ether solvated Na+) which can be bigger than Na+ can reversibly intercalate in graphite to type binary or ternary GIC, respectively. In distinction with intercalation of naked sodium ions, the co-intercalation of sodium ions with solvent molecules would outcome, nonetheless, in large quantity modifications of graphite electrodes and decrease particular capability (ca. 100 to 150 mA h g−1) as a result of the intercalated solvent molecules occupy the area between the graphene layers. The event of novel sodium ion batteries (SIBs) will thus require the intercalation of the naked Na+ into graphite, with none solvent, in analogy with the naked Li+ intercalation occurring in present business batteries.

… Right here, we describe a synthetic graphite nanostructure fabricated from stacked graphene sheets, with the higher face of every sheet being functionalized with a molecule appearing each as spacer and as an lively web site for Na+. Every molecule in between two stacked graphene sheets is linked by a covalent bond to the decrease graphene sheet and interacts by means of electrostatic interactions with the higher graphene sheet, leading to a novel construction. The usage of uneven spacers permits management over noncovalent interactions between the top group of the spacer molecule (on this case, -NH2) and the graphene floor. Nanosheets having uneven chemical functionalization on reverse faces are generally known as “Janus” graphene, named after a two-faced historical Roman god.

—Solar et al.


Schematic illustration of the preparation of the Janus graphene and the stacked Janus graphene skinny movie. The fabric has a novel synthetic nanostructure. The higher face of every graphene sheet has a molecule that acts as each spacer and lively interplay web site for the sodium ions. Every molecule in between two stacked graphene sheets is linked by a covalent bond to the decrease graphene sheet and interacts by means of electrostatic interactions with the higher graphene sheet. The graphene layers even have uniform pore measurement, controllable functionalization density, and few edges. Solar et al.

Sodium is an considerable low-cost metallic, and a primary ingredient in seawater. This makes sodium-ion batteries an attention-grabbing and sustainable various for decreasing the necessity for vital uncooked supplies. Nevertheless, one main problem is to extend the capability of sodium-ion batteries, which, on the present degree of efficiency, sodium-ion batteries can not compete with lithium-ion cells.

One limiting issue is the graphite—composed of stacked layers of graphene—used because the anode in right now’s lithium-ion batteries. Sodium ions are bigger than lithium ions and work together otherwise, and can’t be effectively saved within the graphite construction as Li ions are. The Chalmers researchers devised a novel solution to clear up this.

Now we have added a molecule spacer on one aspect of the graphene layer. When the layers are stacked collectively, the molecule creates bigger area between graphene sheets and gives an interplay level, which results in a considerably increased capability.

—Jinhua Solar, first writer

Usually, the capability of sodium intercalation in normal graphite is about 35 milliampere hours per gram—lower than one tenth of the capability for lithium-ion intercalation in graphite. With the novel graphene the particular capability for sodium ions is 332 milliampere hours per gram—approaching the worth for lithium in graphite. The outcomes additionally confirmed full reversibility and excessive biking stability.

It was actually thrilling after we noticed the sodium-ion intercalation with such excessive capability. The analysis continues to be at an early stage, however the outcomes are very promising. This exhibits that it’s attainable to design graphene layers in an ordered construction that fits sodium ions, making it similar to graphite.

—Professor Aleksandar Matic

The research was initiated by Vincenzo Palermo in his earlier function as Vice-Director of the Graphene Flagship, a European Fee-funded venture coordinated by Chalmers College of Know-how.

Our Janus materials continues to be removed from industrial purposes, however the brand new outcomes present that we will engineer the ultrathin graphene sheets—and the tiny area in between them—for high-capacity power storage. We’re very pleased to current an idea with cost-efficient, considerable and sustainable metals.

—Vincenzo Palermo


  • Jinhua Solar, Matthew Sadd, Philip Edenborg, Henrik Grönbeck, Peter H. Thiesen, Zhenyuan Xia, Vanesa Quintano, Ren Qiu, Aleksandar Matic, Vincenzo Palermo (2021) “Actual-time imaging of Na+ reversible intercalation in “Janus” graphene stacks for battery purposes” Science Advances doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0812