The research team led by Professor Bian Xiufang from the School of Material Science and Engineering and the Key Laboratory for Liquid-Solid Structural Evolution and Processing of Materials (Ministry of Education) of Shandong University made a breakthrough in the field of nano-scale control of amorphous materials recently. Their research findings were presented in the paper "Controlled Red Phosphorus@Ni-P Core@Shell Nanostructure as an Ultralong Cycle-Life and Superior High-Rate Anode for Sodium-Ion Batteries" which was published online in the journal Energy & Environmental Science on Mar 30, 2017. The group member, Dr. Liu Shuai, is the first author of the paper, with Professor Bian Xiufang and Professor Feng Jinkui as corresponding authors.
Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs), a potential alternative to lithium ion batteries (LIBs), have attracted remarkable attention recently due to natural abundance and low-cost of sodium. A comprehensive study of combining electroless deposition was conducted with chemical dealloying to control the shell thickness and composition of red phosphorus (RP)@Ni-P core@shell nanostructure as a high performance anode for SIBs. For the first time depending on regulating the dealloying time (1 h, 4 h, 8 h, 10 h and 20 h) of RP@Ni-P synthesized by electroless Ni on RP, the 1h RP@Ni-P, 4h RP@Ni-P, 8h RP@Ni-P, 10h RP@Ni-P and 20h RP@Ni-P with different shell thickness and composition were prepared. The in-situ generated Ni2P on RP particle surface can facilitate intimate contact between RP and mechanically strong amorphous Ni-P outer shell with a high electronic conductivity, which ensures strong electrode structural integrity, stable solid electrolyte interphase and ultra-fast electronic transport. As a result, the 8h RP@Ni-P composite presents a super high capacity (1256.2 mAh/gcomposite after 200 cycles at 260 mA/gcomposite), superior rate capability (491 mAh/gcomposite at 5200 mA/gcomposite) and unprecedented ultralong cycle-life at 5000 mA/gcomposite for RP-based SIB anode (409.1 mAh/gcomposite after 2000 cycles). The simple scalable synthesis approach shall provide new strategy for the optimization of core@shell nanostructure, paving the way for mass production of high performance electrodes for SIBs and other energy storage system.
Recent years saw a close cooperation between the research team led by Professor Bian and the one headed by Professor Feng. While Professor Bian focuses on the design of the new type of nano materials according to melt structure, paving the way for researches of high performance electrode materials, magnetic liquid and new materials, Prof. Feng is dedicated to the study of advanced energy materials. Their collaboration which had yielded many fruitful results demonstrates the benefits of cross-disciplined communication, and further encourages the academic performances of researchers and young scholars, such as Dr. Liu, who had published six SCI papers as the first author. His publications have achieved a total impact factor of 75.
Both teams led by Professor Bian and Professor Feng have yielded achievements on melt structure and high performance battery electrode material. Their findings were published on Energy Environ. Sci.(2017,10.1039/C7EE00102A)，Energy Environ. Sci. (2016,9, 1229-1236)，Nano Energy (2015,13,651-657)，J. Mater. Chem. A (2016,4,10098-10104), EPL (2014,107,36004), and J. PHYS-CONDENS MAT. (2015,27,235104), etc. Those researches received considerable support from Natural Science Foundation of China and the Key Laboratory for Liquid-Solid Structural Evolution and Processing of Materials (Ministry of Education). It is delighted that their publications have attracted peers' attention from home and abroad, and raised the academic influence of Shandong University in the field of amorphous materials and dealloying.