Centrifugally-spun carbon microfibers and porous carbon microfibers as anode materials for sodium-ion batteries
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Natural abundance and low cost of sodium resources bring forward the sodium-ion batteries as a promising alternative to widely-used lithium-ion batteries. However, insufficient energy density and low cycling stability of current sodium-ion batteries hinder their practical use for next-generation smart power grid and stationary storage applications. Electrospun carbon microfibers have recently been introduced as a high-performance anode material for sodium-ion batteries. However, electrospinning is not feasible for mass production of carbon microfibers due to its complex processing condition, low production rate and high cost. Herein, we report centrifugal spinning, a high-rate and low-cost micro fiber production method, as an alternative approach to electrospinning for carbon microfiber production and introduce centrifugally-spun carbon microfibers (CMFs) and porous carbon microfibers (PCMFs) as anode materials for sodium-ion batteries. Electrochemical performance results indicated that the highly porous nature of centrifugally-spun PCMFs led to increased Na+ storage capacity and improved cycling stability. The reversible capacity of centrifugally-spun PCMF anodes at the 200th cycle was 242 mAh g(-1) which was much higher than that of centrifugally-spun CMFs (143 mAh g(-1)). The capacity retention and coulombic efficiency of the centrifugally-spun PCMF anodes were 89.0% and 99.9%, respectively, even at the 200th cycle. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.