Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 367–377 | Cite as

Suppressing volume change and in situ electrochemical atom force microscopy observation during the lithiation/delithiation process for CuO nanorod array electrodes

  • Yue Chen
  • Xihong Peng
  • Xinyue Fan
  • Qing Yu
  • Guiying Zhao
  • Yingbin Lin
  • Jiaxin LiEmail author
  • Zhigao HuangEmail author
Original Paper


A big challenge in the high-performance transition metal oxide anode for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is relieving the volume changes during the lithiation/delithiation. In this work, CuO nanorod array was produced via glancing angle deposition and directly used as anode materials for thin film electrodes of LIBs. The obtained CuO nanorod array anodes show good LIB performance with a capacity of 220 μAh/cm2/μm tested at 100 μA/cm2 after 80 cycles and excellent rate performance. The obtained properties for CuO nanorod array anodes were much better than thin film anodes without nanorod array structure. In addition, the in situ electrochemical atom force microscopy (EC-AFM) characterization has been used to reveal the enhanced mechanism of CuO nanorod array anodes. On the one hand, CuO nanorods within the electrodes may serve as the hosts for Li+, and ease intercalation by shortening Li+ ion diffusion pathways, resulting in the remarkable cycling stability and rate performance. On the other hand, the “breathing” of CuO nanorod array electrode clearly observed by in situ EC-AFM with the appearance and disappearance of cracks, demonstrated that the nanorod array may act as a buffering to alleviate the giant volume variations during the cycling. As a result, the remarkable stability of the CuO nanorod array electrode allowed its use in a full lithium-ion cell with a pervasive LiCoO2 thin film cathode. Additionally, we also observed the SEI formed on the surface of electrode during cycling, which may benefit the further studies on transition metal oxide as anodes for LIBs.


CuO nanorod array Thin film electrode In situ EC-AFM Suppressing volume change 


Funding information

This study is financially supported by the Natural Science Foundations of China (Nos. 61574037, 11344008, 11204038) and Natural Science Foundations of Fujian Province (No. 2017J01035).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yue Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xihong Peng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xinyue Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qing Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guiying Zhao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yingbin Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiaxin Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhigao Huang
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Physics and Energy, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Quantum Manipulation and New Energy MaterialsFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Fujian Provincial Engineering Technical Research Centre of Solar-Energy Conversion and Stored EnergyFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Fujian Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for Optoelectronic Semiconductors and Efficient DevicesXiamenChina

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