Carbon nanofibers produced by electrospinning of polyacrylonitrile polymer and subsequent carbonization were tested as freestanding potassium-ion anodes. The effect of oxygen functionalization on K-ion carbon anode performance was tested for the first time via plasma oxidation of prepared carbon nanofibers. The produced materials exhibited exceptional cycling stability through the amorphous carbon structuring and one-dimensional architecture accommodating significant material expansion upon K+ intercalation, resulting in a stable capacity of 170 mAh g-1 after 1900 cycles at 1C rate for N-rich carbon nanofibers. Excellent rate performance of 110 mAh g-1 at 10C rate, as compared to 230 mAh g-1 at C/10 rate, resulted from the K-ion surface storage mechanism and the increased K+ solid diffusion coefficient in carbon nanofibers as compared to graphite. Plasma oxidation treatment augmented surface storage of K+ by oxygen functionalities but increased material charge transfer resistance as compared to N-rich carbon fibers. Ex situ characterization revealed that the one-dimensional structure was maintained throughout cycling, despite the increase in graphitic interlattice spacing from 0.37 to 0.46 nm. The carbon nanofibers demonstrate great potential as an anode material for potassium-ion batteries with superior cycling stability and rate capability over previously reported carbon materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)