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A vanadium bronze nanomaterial, β-Na0.33V2O5 was facilely synthesized via a sol-gel method followed by annealing at high temperatures. Morphology of the sample was observed using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM), and crystal phase was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy. The as-prepared sample displays a morphology of nanorods, and have a pure crystalline phase with high crystallinity. When used as cathode material for rechargeable lithium batteries, the β-Na0.33V2O5 nanorods fired at 400 oC exhibit better electrochemical properties at 2.0V cut-off voltage than those at 1.5V cut-off voltage. Over the voltage range of 2.0-4.0 V, they can deliver an initial capacity of 221 mAh g-1 at 0.5C rate, and retain 212 mAh g-1 after 200 cycles, accounting for a capacity fading of only 0.02% per cycle. At 5C rate, the discharge capacity still reaches 146 mAh g-1, displaying an outstanding rate capability. Control of electrochemical window is proved to be an effective strategy in boosting cycling stability of the β-Na0.33V2O5 cathode in this work in spite of a discounted capacity. Results suggest the as-prepared β-Na0.33V2O5 nanorods are promisingly used as high-performance cathode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries.
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