skip to main content


Title: Sensitivity and Limitations of Structures from X-ray and Neutron-Based Diffraction Analyses of Transition Metal Oxide Lithium-Battery Electrodes

Lithium transition metal oxides are an important class of electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Binary or ternary (transition) metal doping brings about new opportunities to improve the electrode’s performance and often leads to more complex stoichiometries and atomic structures than the archetypal LiCoO 2. Rietveld structural analyses of X-ray and neutron diffraction data is a widely-used approach for structural characterization of crystalline materials. But, different structural models and refinement approaches can lead to differing results, and some parameters can be difficult to quantify due to the inherent limitations of the data. Here, through the example of LiNi 0.8Co 0.15Al 0.05O 2 (NCA), we demonstrated the sensitivity of various structural parameters in Rietveld structural analysis to different refinement approaches and structural models, and proposed an approach to reduce refinement uncertainties due to the inexact X-ray scattering factors of the constituent atoms within the lattice. Furthermore, this refinement approach was implemented for electrochemically-cycled NCA samples and yielded accurate structural parameters using only X-ray diffraction data. The present work provides the best practices for performing structural refinement of lithium transition metal oxides.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS), X-ray Science Division
  2. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of NanoEngineering
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS), Photon Sciences Directorate
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; SC0012583
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 164; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Northeastern Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; layered lithium transition metal oxides; neutron diffraction; rietveld refinement; x-ray diffraction
OSTI Identifier: