Effect of Local Atomic Structure on Sodium Ion Storage in Hard Amorphous Carbon

Jiuhui Han, Isaac Johnson, Zhen Lu, Akira Kudo, Mingwei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The fundamental understanding of sodium storage mechanisms in amorphous carbon is essential to develop high-performance anode materials for sodium-ion batteries. However, the intrinsic relation between the structure of amorphous carbon and Na+ storage remains to be debated due to the difficulty in controlling and characterizing the local atomic configurations of amorphous carbon. Here we report quantitative measurements of Na+ storage in a low-temperature dealloyed hard carbon with a tunable local structure from completely disordered micropores to gradually increased graphitic order domains. The structure-capacity-potential correlation not only verifies the disputing "adsorption-intercalation"mechanisms, i.e., Na+ intercalation into local graphitic domains for the low-voltage plateaus and adsorption in fully disordered carbon for the sloping voltage profiles, but also unveils a new mechanism of Na+ adsorption on defective sites of graphitic carbon in the medium-potential sloping region. The quantitative investigations provide essential insights into the reaction mechanisms of Na+ with amorphous carbon for designing advanced sodium-ion battery anodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6504-6510
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 11


  • amorphous materials
  • hard carbon
  • local order
  • sodium storage
  • sodium-ion batteries


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