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Surface engineering strategy using urea to improve the rate performance of Na2Ti3O7 in Na-ion batteries

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>19/02/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Chemistry - A European Journal
Issue number11
Volume27
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)3875-3886
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Na2Ti3O7 (NTO) is considered a promising anode material for Na-ion batteries due to its layered structure with an open framework and low and safe average operating voltage of 0.3 V vs. Na+/Na. However, its poor electronic conductivity needs to be addressed to make this material attractive for practical applications among other anode choices. Here, we report a safe, controllable and affordable method using urea that significantly improves the rate performance of NTO by producing surface defects such as oxygen vacancies and hydroxyl groups and the secondary phase, Na2Ti6O13. A comprehensive study using a combination of diffraction, microscopic, spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques supported by computational studies based on DFT calculations, was carried out to understand the effects of this treatment on the surface, chemistry and electronic and charge storage properties of NTO. This study underscores the benefits of using urea as a strategy for enhancing the charge storage properties of NTO and thus, unfolding the potential of this material in practical energy storage applications.

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