One-step grown carbonaceous germanium nanowires and their application as highly efficient lithium-ion battery anodes

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Garcia, Adrià
Biswas, Subhajit
McNulty, David
Roy, Ahin
Raha, Sreyan
Trabesinger, Sigita
Nicolosi, Valeria
Singha, Achintya
Holmes, Justin D.
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Developing a simple, cheap, and scalable synthetic method for the fabrication of functional nanomaterials is crucial. Carbon-based nanowire nanocomposites could play a key role in integrating group IV semiconducting nanomaterials as anodes into Li-ion batteries. Here, we report a very simple, one-pot solvothermal-like growth of carbonaceous germanium (C-Ge) nanowires in a supercritical solvent. C-Ge nanowires are grown just by heating (380–490 °C) a commercially sourced Ge precursor, diphenylgermane (DPG), in supercritical toluene, without any external catalysts or surfactants. The self-seeded nanowires are highly crystalline and very thin, with an average diameter between 11 and 19 nm. The amorphous carbonaceous layer coating on Ge nanowires is formed from the polymerization and condensation of light carbon compounds generated from the decomposition of DPG during the growth process. These carbonaceous Ge nanowires demonstrate impressive electrochemical performance as an anode material for Li-ion batteries with high specific charge values (>1200 mAh g–1 after 500 cycles), greater than most of the previously reported for other “binder-free” Ge nanowire anode materials, and exceptionally stable capacity retention. The high specific charge values and impressively stable capacity are due to the unique morphology and composition of the nanowires.
Nanowire , Germanium , Self-seeded growth , Supercritical fluid , Li-ion battery
Garcia, A., Biswas, S., McNulty, D., Roy, A., Raha, S., Trabesinger, S., Nicolosi, V., Singha, A. and Holmes, J. D. (2022) 'One-step grown carbonaceous germanium nanowires and their application as highly efficient lithium-ion battery anodes', ACS Applied Energy Materials, 5(2), pp. 1922-1932. doi: 10.1021/acsaem.1c03404