Examining the Effects of Nitrogen-doped Carbon Coating on Zinc Vanadate Nanoflowers Towards High Performance Lithium Anode

Huili Cao*, Zhiyong Zheng, Jie Meng, Xinxin Xiao, Poul Norby, Susanne Mossin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Coating transition metal oxides with nitrogen-doped carbon is an efficient way to enhance lithium-ion battery performance by improving the conductivity and stability of the electrodes. So far, little attention has been paid to how the calcination process affects bimetallic oxides, such as zinc vanadate, with regards to the oxidation state of the metal, the zinc/vanadium ratio and the specific surface area. In this work, we report nitrogen-doped carbon coated zinc vanadate nanoflowers (particle size: 10 nm; coating layer thickness: 20 nm) with a high specific surface area (115 m2 g−1) through a facile method. High-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveal that V5+ from the precipitated Zn3(OH)2(V2O7)(H2O)2 is largely converted to V3+ in ZnV2O4. A vanadium loss of about 9% during calcination lead to increased Zn/V ratio and formation of ZnO. When applied as anode in a lithium-ion battery, the as-prepared ZnV2O4/ZnO@N doped C exhibits a considerable reversible specific capacity of 620 mAh g−1 at a current density of 0.1 A g−1 after 50 cycles, very close to the theoretical capacity (651 mAh g−1) and considerably higher than the non-coated counterpart (306 mAh g−1). The material is stable during extended cycling (200 cycles at 0.5 A g−1). In-depth electrochemical analysis including three-electrode system testing shows that the carbon shell is crucial in maintaining the structure stability and enhancing the capacity of the active material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136791
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Nitrogen-doped carbon
  • Oxidation state
  • Zinc vanadate
  • Anode
  • Lithium-ion battery


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