Graphene, a thin, hexagonal lattice material, has attracted a great deal of research interest since it was first reported in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester. With this work, the two researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Graphene has many interesting features such as high electric conductivity, superior mechanical properties, excellent chemical tolerance, and high surface area. The theoretical specific surface area is 2630 m2/g which is much larger than carbon black (typically smaller than 900 m2/g) or carbon nanotubes (from 100 to 1000 m2/g).
Its strenghts shows graphene as a functional composite for rechargeable Li-ion batteries (LIBs). LIBs are the common type of energy storage systems, however, in the current situation they exhibit a relatively low electric conductivity and short cycle-life. In order to improve the performance of Li-ion batteries, much research has focused on the development of both anode and cathode materials. Various graphene-based composites have been prepared, such as TiO2/graphene, Co3O4/graphene, SnO2/graphene, Co(OH)2/graphene, Mn3O4/graphene, Li4Ti5O12/graphene, Fe3O4/graphene, LiFePO4/graphene, etc., showing superior performance to current anodes.
In this application note, the important step to obtain graphene-based composites using the BUCHI Mini Spray Dryer will be highlighted.