Structural and Electrochemical Studies of Positive Electrode Materials in the Li-Mn-Ni-O System for Lithium-ion Batteries
Rowe, Aaron William
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Emerging energy storage applications are driving the demand for Li-ion battery positive electrode materials with higher energy densities and lower costs. The recent production of complete pseudo-ternary phase diagrams of the Li-Mn-Ni-O system generated using combinatorial methods has provided a greater understanding of the impact of initial composition, synthesis temperature, and cooling rate on the phases that form in the final materials. This thesis focuses on the synthesis and characterization of gram-scale positive electrode materials in the Li-Mn-Ni-O system. Structural analysis of these samples has resulted in the production of partial pseudo-ternary phase diagrams focusing on the positive electrode materials region of the Li-Mn-Ni-O system at 800°C and 900°C in air for both quenched and slow cooled compositions. These bulk-scale diagrams support the observations of the combinatorial diagrams, and show similar layered and cubic structures contained within several single- and multi-phase regions. The phases that form at each composition are shown to be dependent on both the reaction temperature and cooling rate used during synthesis. The electrochemical characterization of two composition series near Li2MnO3, one quenched and one slow cooled, is presented. The quenched compositions exhibited reversible cycling at 4.4 V, voltage plateaus and small increases in capacity above 4.6 V, and large first cycle irreversible capacity losses at 4.8 V. In the slow cooled series, all but one composition exhibited initial capacities below 100 mAh/g which began to continually increase with cycling, with several compositions exhibiting capacity increases of 300% over 150 cycles at 4.9 V. In both series, analysis of the voltage and differential capacity plots indicated that significant structure rearrangements are taking place in these materials during extended cycling, the possible origins of which are discussed. Finally, high precision coulometry studies of one Li-deficient and two Li-rich single-phase layered compositions are discussed. These materials exhibit minimal oxidation of simple carbonate-based electrolyte when cycled to high potential, with the Li-deficient composition producing less electrolyte oxidation at 4.6 V vs. Li/Li+ than commercial Li[Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3]O2 at 4.2 V. The inherent inertness of this composition may make it suitable for use as a thin protective layer in a core-shell particle.
- Lithium-ion batteries, positive electrode materials region, Li-Mn-Ni-O system, pseudo-ternary phase diagrams, XRD, electrochemical, single-phase materials and boundaries, multi-phase materials and co-existence regions, Li-deficient and Li-rich compositions, capacity growth materials, high precision coulometry measurements
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