Tin-coated viral nanoforests as sodium-ion battery anodes

ACS Nano. 2013 Apr 23;7(4):3627-34. doi: 10.1021/nn400601y. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Designed as a high-capacity alloy host for Na-ion chemistry, a forest of Sn nanorods with a unique core-shell structure was synthesized on viral scaffolds, which were genetically engineered to ensure a nearly vertical alignment upon self-assembly onto a metal substrate. The interdigital spaces thus formed between individual rods effectively accommodated the volume expansion and contraction of the alloy upon sodiation/desodiation, while additional carbon-coating engineered over these nanorods further suppressed Sn aggregation during extended electrochemical cycling. Due to the unique nanohierarchy of multiple functional layers, the resultant 3D nanoforest of C/Sn/Ni/TMV1cys, binder-free composite electrode already and evenly assembled on a stainless steel current collector, exhibited supreme capacity utilization and cycling stability toward Na-ion storage and release. An initial capacity of 722 mA·h (g Sn)(-1) along with 405 mA·h (g Sn)(-1) retained after 150 deep cycles demonstrates the longest-cycling nano-Sn anode material for Na-ion batteries reported in the literature to date and marks a significant performance improvement for neat Sn material as alloy host for Na-ion chemistry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry*
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electrodes*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Ions
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Particle Size
  • Protein Binding
  • Sodium / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties
  • Tin / chemistry*
  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus / chemistry*
  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus / genetics


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Ions
  • Tin
  • Sodium