Aqueous Zinc-Ion Storage in MoS 2 by Tuning the Intercalation Energy

Hanfeng Liang, Zhen Cao, Fangwang Ming, Wenli Zhang, Dalaver H. Anjum, Yi Cui, Luigi Cavallo, Husam N. Alshareef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

346 Scopus citations


Aqueous Zn-ion batteries present low-cost, safe, and high-energy battery technology but suffer from the lack of suitable cathode materials because of the sluggish intercalation kinetics associated with the large size of hydrated zinc ions. Herein we report an effective and general strategy to transform inactive intercalation hosts into efficient Zn 2+ storage materials through intercalation energy tuning. Using MoS 2 as a model system, we show both experimentally and theoretically that even hosts with an originally poor Zn 2+ diffusivity can allow fast Zn 2+ diffusion. Through simple interlayer spacing and hydrophilicity engineering that can be experimentally achieved by oxygen incorporation, the Zn 2+ diffusivity is boosted by 3 orders of magnitude, effectively enabling the otherwise barely active MoS 2 to achieve a high capacity of 232 mAh g -1 , which is 10 times that of its pristine form. The strategy developed in our work can be generally applied for enhancing the ion storage capacity of metal chalcogenides and other layered materials, making them promising cathodes for challenging multivalent ion batteries.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)3199-3206
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 8 May 2019


  • hydrophilicity engineering
  • interlayer spacing tuning
  • MoS
  • oxygen incorporation
  • zinc-ion battery
  • Zn intercalation


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