Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

First Advisor

Da Deng


Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the dominant powder source for personal computers and portable electronics. LIBs also play important roles in larger-scale applications, including electric drive vehicles (EVs, HEVs) and grid-energy storage. To meet the increasing demand for energy storage, it is very urgent and crucial to develop next-generation LIBs using alternative electrode materials. For example, carbon is still exclusively used as anode materials in current LIBs. However, the theoretical capacity of graphite (372 mA h g–1 based on LiC6) has almost been achieved, and it becomes one of the bottlenecks to further increase the energy density of LIBs based on carbon. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop carbon-alternative materials with higher capacity to meet the increasing demand for energy storage. Iron oxides, with a theoretical capacity of 1007 mA h g–1, have been attracting much attention as a promising candidate to replace carbon. However, poor capacity retention and poor conductivity are the main issues. One strategy is to design and tailor structured iron oxides to address those issues. In addition, it is always practically interesting and intellectually challenging to develop facile methods to prepare iron oxides with desired structures. In our work, iron oxides with various sizes and structures have been designed and synthesized. The electrochemical performances of the as-synthesized iron oxides for LIBs have been thoroughly evaluated. The fundamentals of structure-property relationships have been revealed. The impressive electrochemical performances achieved have demonstrated the promising application of those structured iron oxides for next-generation LIBs.