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Title: Probing the Degradation Mechanism of Li2MnO3 Cathode for Li-Ion Batteries

Capacity and voltage fading of Li2MnO3 is a major challenge for the application of this category of material, which is believed to be associated with the structural and chemical evolution of the materials. This paper reports the detailed structural and chemical evolutions of Li2MnO3 cathode captured by using aberration corrected scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) after certain numbers of charge-discharge cycling of the batteries. It is found that structural degradation occurs from the very first cycle and is spatially initiated from the surface of the particle and propagates towards the inner bulk as cyclic number increase, featuring the formation of the surface phase transformation layer and gradual thickening of this layer. The structure degradation is found to follow a sequential phase transformation: monoclinic C2/m → tetragonal I41 → cubic spinel, which is consistently supported by the decreasing lattice formation energy based on DFT calculations. For the first time, high spatial resolution quantitative chemical analysis reveals that 20% oxygen in the surface phase transformation layer is removed and such newly developed surface layer is a Li-depleted layer with reduced Mn cations. This work demonstrates a direct correlation between structural degradation and cell’s electrochemical degradation, which enhances our understanding of Li-Mn-rich (LMR) cathodemore » materials.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chemistry of Materials, 27(3):975-982
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Lithium ion battery, Structural degradation, STEM, LMR cathode, DFT calculation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory