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Title: Observation Of Electron-beam-induced Phase Evolution Mimicking The Effect Of Charge-discharge Cycle In Li-rich Layered Cathode Materials Used For Li-ion Batteries

Capacity loss, and voltage fade upon electrochemical charge-discharge cycling observed in lithium-rich layered cathode oxides (Li[LixMnyTM1-x-y]O2 , TM = Ni, Co or Fe) have recently been identified to be correlated to the gradual phase transformation, featuring the formation of a surface reconstructed layer (SRL) that evolves from a thin (<2 nm), defect spinel layer upon the first charge, to a relatively thick (~5 nm), spinel or rock-salt layer upon continuous charge-discharge cycling. Here we report observations of a SRL and structural evolution of the SRL on the Li[Li0.2Ni0.2Mn0.6]O2 (LMR) particles, which are identical to those reported due to the charge-discharge cycle but are a result of electron-beam irradiation during scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) imaging. Sensitivity of the lithium-rich layered oxides to high-energy electrons leads to the formation of thin, defect spinel layer on surfaces of the particles when exposed to a 200 kV electron beam for as little as 30 seconds under normal high-resolution STEM imaging conditions. Further electron irradiation produces a thicker layer of the spinel phase, ultimately producing a rock-salt layer at a higher electron exposure. Atomic-scale chemical mapping by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy in STEM indicates the electron-beam-induced SRL formation on LMR is accomplished by migrationmore » of the transition metal ions to the Li sites without breaking down the lattice. This study provides an insight for understanding the mechanism of forming the SRL and also possibly a mean to study structural evolution in the Li-rich layered oxides without involving the electrochemistry.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Chemistry of Materials, 27(4):1375-1380
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory