AdvisorsAlshareef, Husam N.
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
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AbstractSodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are considered as a promising alternative to lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) for large-scale renewable energy storage units due to the abundance of sodium resource and its low cost. However, the development of anode materials for SIBs to date has been mainly limited to some traditional anodes for LIBs, such as carbonaceous materials. SnSe2 is a member of two dimensional layered transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) family, which has been predicted to have high theoretical capacity as anode material for sodium ion batteries (756 mAh g-1), thanks to its layered crystal structure. Yet, there have been no studies on using SnSe2 as Na ion battery anode. In this thesis, we developed a simple synthesis method to prepare pure SnSe2 nanosheets, employing N2 saturated NaHSe solution as a new selenium source. The SnSe2 2D sheets achieve theoretical capacity during the first cycle, and a stable and reversible specific capacity of 515 mAh g-1 at 0.1 A g-1 after 100 cycles, with excellent rate performance. Among all of the reported transition metal selenides, our SnSe2 sample has the highest reversible capacity and the best rate performances. A combination of ex-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction was used to study the mechanism of sodiation and desodiation process in this SnSe2, and to understand the reason for the excellent results that we have obtained. The analysis indicate that a combination of conversion and alloying reactions take place with SnSe2 anodes during battery operation, which helps to explain the high capacity of SnSe2 anodes for SIBs compared to other binary selenides. Density functional theory was used to elucidate the volume changes taking place in this important 2D material.