Organic-based cathode materials have attracted considerable attention for sustainable Na-ion batteries due to their great promise to overcome the issues arising from the insertion of large Na+ into the rigid structures of conventional transition-metal-containing inorganic electrodes. The structural flexibility as a result of weak intermolecular interactions and simple electron- and ion-storage mechanisms found in organic compounds ensure facile and reversible transport of Na ions. To address the general drawbacks of small-molecule organic electrodes such as material dissolution in commonly used organic electrolytes and poor electronic conductivity, we report the use of a nitrogen- and carbonyl-rich highly extended π-conjugated small molecule, hexaazatrianthranylene (HATA) embedded quinone (HATAQ), as a cathode for sodium-ion batteries. The unique hydrogen bonds between highly functionalized conjugated HATAQ molecules allow supramolecular graphite-like 2D layered arrangements in the solid state which help facilitate the structural stability during long-term cycling and promote charge transfer. The compound delivers a capacity as high as 460 mA h g−1 at 500 mA g−1 and an excellent capacity retention of 99% (∼138 mA h g−1) after 5000 cycles at an extremely high rate of 60 A g−1. The reaction kinetics and redox mechanism of the material have been elucidated by several characterization techniques together with density functional theory (DFT) studies. The insights gained in this work could pave the way for ultra-high-performance small-molecule organic cathodes for sustainable energy storage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)