Lower-voltage plateau Zn-substituted Co3O4 submicron spheres anode for Li-ion half and full batteries

Lizhi Qian, Tingli Yu, Zhiqiang Wei, Bingdong Chang, Guoyong Huang, Zhiyuan Wang, Yanguo Liu*, Hongyu Sun, Lu Bai, Wei Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Carbonaceous materials are used as the anode for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), however, lithium dendrites are easily formed during cycling due to the low lithium insertion potential (~0.1 V versus Li+/Li). As alternative anodes, transition metal oxides based on conversion mechanism have attached much attention. But the high lithiation potential (>1.0 V vs. Li+/Li) usually leads to a low output voltage and energy density when used in a full cell configuration. Herein, Zn-substituted Co3O4 submicron spheres are successfully synthesized by a facile solvothermal reaction and subsequent calcination method. When used as the anode for LIB, the optimized sample shows a specific capacity of 686 mAh g−1 at 0.8 A g−1 after 500 cycles, and a specific capacity of 692.9 mAh g−1 at a higher current density of 3.2 A g−1 in a half-cell. Thanks to the controlled Zn substitution, the discharge voltage plateau is 0.16 V lower than that of the pure Co3O4 anode at a current density of 0.4 A g−1. Further investigation of the 0.5Zn-Co3O4//LiCoO2 full cells also displays a high capacity (400.7 mAh g−1 after 200 cycles at 0.4 A g−1) and an excellent rate capability (658.1 mAh g−1 at 1.6 A g−1) compared with the Co3O4//LiCoO2 full cells. This work confirms that substituting suitable metal elements into sub-micron conversion based anodes can reduce the voltage plateau, which is of great significance for the practical applications in high performance energy storage devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161888
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51771046 , 51971055 , 51871046 ).


  • Conversion-based anodes
  • Elemental substitution
  • Lithium storage mechanism
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Low voltage plateau


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