A novel anode material for lithium-ion batteries, tin nanoparticles coated with carbon embedded in graphene (Sn@C/graphene), was fabricated by hydrothermal synthesis and subsequent annealing. The structure and morphology of the nanocomposite were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The size of the Sn@C nanoparticles is about 50–200 nm. The reversible specific capacity of the nanocomposite is 662 mAh g−1 at a specific current of 100 mA g−1 after 100 cycles, even 417 mAh g−1 at the high current of 1000 mA g−1. These results indicate that Sn@C/graphene possesses superior cycle performance and high rate capability. The enhanced electrochemical performances can be ascribed to the characteristic structure of the nanocomposite with both of the graphene and carbon shells, which buffer the volume change of the metallic tin and prevent the detachment and agglomeration of pulverized tin.
Tin nanoparticles coated with carbon embedded in graphene have been successfully fabricated by hydrothermal synthesis and subsequent annealing. This nanocomposite as an anode material for lithium-ion batteries exhibits superior cycle performance.