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Stable, high-capacity zinc iron oxide electrode for Li-ion batteries

A team from Australia and India have developed a novel zinc iron oxide nanocomposite ZnFe2O4–C as an electrode material for rechargeable Li-ion batteries. The composite ZnFe2O4–C electrodes are capable of delivering a very stable reversible capacity of 681 mAh g−1 (96% retention of the calculated theoretical capacity of ∼710 mAh g−1) at 0.1 C after 100 cycles.

In their paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they report that the rate capability of the composite is significantly improved and obtained capacity was as high as 702 at 0.1, 648 at 0.5, 582 at 1, 547 at 2 and 469 mAh g−1 at 4 C (2.85 A g−1), respectively. When cell is returned to 0.1 C, the capacity recovery was still ∼98%.

Overall, the electrochemical performance (in terms of cycling stability, high rate capability, and capacity retention) is outstanding and much better than those of the related reported works. Therefore, our smart electrode design enables ZnFe2O4–C sample to be a high quality anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

—Thankachan et al.

The team achieved the novel nanocomposite structure by combining a sol–gel and a low energy ball milling method. The crucial feature of the composite’s structure is that sol–gel synthesised ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles are dispersed and attached uniformly along the chains of Super P Li carbon black matrix by adopting a low energy ball milling.


  • Rahul Mundiyaniyil Thankachan, Md Mokhlesur Rahman, Irin Sultana, Alexey M. Glushenkov, Sabu Thomas, Nandakumar Kalarikkal, Ying Chen (2015) “Enhanced lithium storage in ZnFe2O4–C nanocomposite produced by a low-energy ball milling,” Journal of Power Sources, Volume 282, Pages 462-470 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2015.02.039


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