A longstanding challenge facing energy conversion/storage materials is their low electrical conductivity, which often results in unwanted sluggish electrochemical reactions. Here, we demonstrate a new class of one-pot surface engineering strategy based on metallic single-walled carbon nanotube (mSWCNT)-enriched, ivy-like conductive nanonets (mSC nanonets). The mSC nanonets are formed on the surface of electrode materials through a poly(9,9-di-n-octylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl) (PFO)-assisted sonication/filtration process. PFO is known as a dispersant for SWCNTs that shows a higher affinity for semiconducting SWCNTs (sSWCNTs) than for mSWCNTs. Driven by this preferential affinity of PFO, sSWCNTs are separated from mSWCNTs in the form of sSWCNT/PFO hybrids, and the resulting enriched mSWCNTs are uniformly deposited on electrode materials in the form of ivy-like nanonets. Various electrode materials, including lithium-ion battery cathodes/anodes and perovskite catalysts, are chosen to explore the feasibility of the proposed concept. Due to their ivy-like conductive network, the mSC nanonets increase the electronic conductivity of the electrode materials without hindering their ionic transport, eventually enabling significant improvements in their redox reaction rates, charge/discharge cyclability, and bifunctional electrocatalytic activities. These exceptional physicochemical advantages of the mSC nanonets, in conjunction with the simplicity/versatility of the one-pot surface engineering process, offer a new and facile route to develop advanced electrode materials with faster electrochemical reaction kinetics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program (2015R1A2A1A01003474 and 2015R1D1A1A01057004) and Wearable Platform Materials Technology Center (2016R1A5A1009926) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. This work was also supported by the Korea Forest Research Institute (Grant No. FP 0400-2016-01) and the Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) (Grant No. B6-2431).
© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)