Nano Research

Article Title

Scalable synthesis of sub-100 nm hollow carbon nanospheres for energy storage applications


hollow carbon nanospheres, reverse micelles, nanoreactors, templating synthesis, energy storage


ABSTRACT Sub-100 nm hollow carbon nanospheres with thin shells are highly desirable anode materials for energy storage applications. However, their synthesis remains a great challenge with conventional strategies. In this work, we demonstrate that hollow carbon nanospheres of unprecedentedly small sizes (down to ~32.5 nm and with thickness of ~3.9 nm) can be produced on a large scale by a templating process in a unique reverse micelle system. Reverse micelles enable a spatially confined Stöber process that produces uniform silica nanospheres with significantly reduced sizes compared with those from a conventional Stöber process, and a subsequent well-controlled sol–gel coating process with a resorcinol–formaldehyde resin on these silica nanospheres as a precursor of the hollow carbon nanospheres. Owing to the short diffusion length resulting from their hollow structure, as well as their small size and microporosity, these hollow carbon nanospheres show excellent capacity and cycling stability when used as anode materials for lithium/sodium-ion batteries.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press