CuO is a promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries due to its high theoretical capacity, low cost, and non-toxicity. However, its practical application has been plagued by low conductivity and poor cyclability. Herein, we report the facile synthesis of porous defective CuO nanosheets by a simple wet-chemical route paired with controlled annealing. The sample obtained after mild heat treatment (300°C) exhibits an improved crystallinity with low dislocation density and preserved porous structure, manifesting superior Li-ion storage capability with high capacity (~500 mAh/g at 0.2 C), excellent rate (175 mAh/g at 2 C), and cyclability (258 mAh/g after 500 cycles at 0.5 C). The enhanced electrochemical performance can be ascribed to the synergy of porous nanosheet morphology and improved crystallinity: (1) porous morphology endows the material a large contact interface for electrolyte impregnation, enriched active sites for Li-ion uptake/release, more room for accommodation of repeated volume variation during lithiation/de-lithiation. (2) the improved crystallinity with reduced edge dislocations can boost the electrical conduction, reducing polarization during charge/discharge. The proposed strategy based on synergic pore and defect engineering can pave the way for development of advanced metal oxides-based electrodes for (beyond) Li-ion batteries.
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