Staff directory Xu Han

Xu Han

Fellowship Doctoral Student
China Scholarship Council
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Advanced Electron Nanoscopy - Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials



  • Monodisperse CoSn and NiSn Nanoparticles Supported on Commercial Carbon as Anode for Lithium- And Potassium-Ion Batteries

    Li J., Xu X., Yu X., Han X., Zhang T., Zuo Y., Zhang C., Yang D., Wang X., Luo Z., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Liu J., Cabot A. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces; 12 (4): 4414 - 4422. 2020. 10.1021/acsami.9b16418. IF: 8.758

    Monodisperse CoSn and NiSn nanoparticles were prepared in solution and supported on commercial carbon black. The obtained nanocomposites were applied as anodes for Li- and K-ion batteries. CoSn@C delivered stable average capacities of 850, 650, and 500 mAh g-1 at 0.2, 1.0, and 2.0 A g-1, respectively, well above those of commercial graphite anodes. The capacity of NiSn@C retained up to 575 mAh g-1 at a current of 1.0 A g-1 over 200 continuous cycles. Up to 74.5 and 69.7% pseudocapacitance contributions for Li-ion batteries were measured for CoSn@C and NiSn@C, respectively, at 1.0 mV s-1. CoSn@C was further tested in full-cell lithium-ion batteries with a LiFePO4 cathode to yield a stable capacity of 350 mAh g-1 at a rate of 0.2 A g-1. As electrode in K-ion batteries, CoSn@C composites presented a stable capacity of around 200 mAh g-1 at 0.2 A g-1 over 400 continuous cycles, and NiSn@C delivered a lower capacity of around 100 mAh g-1 over 300 cycles. Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

  • Selective Methanol-to-Formate Electrocatalytic Conversion on Branched Nickel Carbide

    Li J., Wei R., Wang X., Zuo Y., Han X., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Yang Y., Cabot A., Cui C. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition; 2020. 10.1002/anie.202004301. IF: 12.959

    A methanol economy will be favored by the availability of low-cost catalysts able to selectively oxidize methanol to formate. This selective oxidation would allow extraction of the largest part of the fuel energy while concurrently producing a chemical with even higher commercial value than the fuel itself. Herein, we present a highly active methanol electrooxidation catalyst based on abundant elements and with an optimized structure to simultaneously maximize interaction with the electrolyte and mobility of charge carriers. In situ infrared spectroscopy combined with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that branched nickel carbide particles are the first catalyst determined to have nearly 100 % electrochemical conversion of methanol to formate without generating detectable CO2 as a byproduct. Electrochemical kinetics analysis revealed the optimized reaction conditions and the electrode delivered excellent activities. This work provides a straightforward and cost-efficient way for the conversion of organic small molecules and the first direct evidence of a selective formate reaction pathway. © 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH

  • SnS2/g-C3N4/graphite nanocomposites as durable lithium-ion battery anode with high pseudocapacitance contribution

    Zuo Y., Xu X., Zhang C., Li J., Du R., Wang X., Han X., Arbiol J., Llorca J., Liu J., Cabot A. Electrochimica Acta; 349 (136369) 2020. 10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136369. IF: 6.215

    Tin disulfide is a promising anode material for Li-ion batteries (LIB) owing to its high theoretical capacity and the abundance of its composing elements. However, bare SnS2 suffers from low electrical conductivity and large volume expansion, which results in poor rate performance and cycling stability. Herein, we present a solution-based strategy to grow SnS2 nanostructures within a matrix of porous g-C3N4 (CN) and high electrical conductivity graphite plates (GPs). We test the resulting nanocomposite as anode in LIBs. First, SnS2 nanostructures with different geometries are tested, to find out that thin SnS2 nanoplates (SnS2-NPLs) provide the highest performances. Such SnS2-NPLs, incorporated into hierarchical SnS2/CN/GP nanocomposites, display excellent rate capabilities (536.5 mA h g−1 at 2.0 A g−1) and an outstanding stability (∼99.7% retention after 400 cycles), which are partially associated with a high pseudocapacitance contribution (88.8% at 1.0 mV s−1). The excellent electrochemical properties of these nanocomposites are ascribed to the synergy created between the three nanocomposite components: i) thin SnS2-NPLs provide a large surface for rapid Li-ion intercalation and a proper geometry to stand volume expansions during lithiation/delithiation cycles; ii) porous CN prevents SnS2-NPLs aggregation, habilitates efficient channels for Li-ion diffusion and buffer stresses associated to SnS2 volume changes; and iii) conductive GPs allow an efficient charge transport. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • In Situ Electrochemical Oxidation of Cu2S into CuO Nanowires as a Durable and Efficient Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    Zuo Y., Liu Y., Li J., Du R., Han X., Zhang T., Arbiol J., Divins N.J., Llorca J., Guijarro N., Sivula K., Cabot A. Chemistry of Materials; 31 (18): 7732 - 7743. 2019. 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b02790. IF: 10.159

    Development of cost-effective oxygen evolution catalysts is of capital importance for the deployment of large-scale energy-storage systems based on metal-air batteries and reversible fuel cells. In this direction, a wide range of materials have been explored, especially under more favorable alkaline conditions, and several metal chalcogenides have particularly demonstrated excellent performances. However, chalcogenides are thermodynamically less stable than the corresponding oxides and hydroxides under oxidizing potentials in alkaline media. Although this instability in some cases has prevented the application of chalcogenides as oxygen evolution catalysts and it has been disregarded in some others, we propose to use it in our favor to produce high-performance oxygen evolution catalysts. We characterize here the in situ chemical, structural, and morphological transformation during the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in alkaline media of Cu2S into CuO nanowires, mediating the intermediate formation of Cu(OH)2. We also test their OER activity and stability under OER operation in alkaline media and compare them with the OER performance of Cu(OH)2 and CuO nanostructures directly grown on the surface of a copper mesh. We demonstrate here that CuO produced from in situ electrochemical oxidation of Cu2S displays an extraordinary electrocatalytic performance toward OER, well above that of CuO and Cu(OH)2 synthesized without this transformation. © 2019 American Chemical Society.