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Garcia-Gil, A.; Biswas, S.; Holmes, J. D.
High aspect-ratio germanium-tin alloy nanowires: potential as highly efficient Li-ion battery anodes
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Here, the fabrication of a high aspect ratio (>440) Ge1−xSnx nanowires with super-thin (≈9 nm) diameter, much below the Bohr radius, using a simple solvothermal-like growth method under supercritical toluene conditions at a reaction temperature of 440 C is reported. Ge1−xSnx nanowires are grown with varying amounts of Sn in Ge lattice, between 3.1 to 10.2 at%. The growth of the Ge1−xSnx alloy nanowires is achieved without any additional catalysts, and directly on current collector substrates (titanium) for application as Li-ion battery anodes. The electrochemical performance of the binder-free Ge1−xSnx nanowires as an anode material for Li-ion batteries is investigated via galvanostatic cycling and detailed analysis of differential capacity plots. The dimensions of the nanowires, and the amount of Sn in Ge, are critical to achieving a high specific capacity and capacity retention. Ge1−xSnx nanowires with the highest aspect ratios and with the lowest Sn content (3.1 at%) demonstrate exceptional capacity retention of ≈90% and 86% from the 10th to the 100th and 150th cycles respectively, while maintaining a very high specific capacity value of 1176 and 1127 mAh g−1 after the 100 and 150 cycles respectively.
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