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Title: Atomic to Nanoscale Investigation of Functionalities of Al2O3 Coating Layer on Cathode for Enhanced Battery Performance

Surface coating of cathode has been identified as an effective approach for enhancing the capacity retention of layered structure cathode. However, the underlying operating mechanism of such a thin layer of coating, in terms of surface chemical functionality and capacity retention, remains unclear. In this work, we use aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and high efficient spectroscopy to probe the delicate functioning mechanism of Al2O3 coating layer on Li1.2Ni0.2Mn0.6O2 cathode. We discovered that in terms of surface chemical function, the Al2O3 coating suppresses the side reaction between cathode and the electrolyte upon the battery cycling. At the same time, the Al2O3 coating layer also eliminates the chemical reduction of Mn from the cathode particle surface, therefore avoiding the dissolution of the reduced Mn into the electrolyte. In terms of structural stability, we found that the Al2O3 coating layer can mitigate the layer to spinel phase transformation, which otherwise will initiate from the particle surface and propagate towards the interior of the particle with the progression of the battery cycling. The atomic to nanoscale effects of the coating layer observed here provide insight for optimized design of coating layer on cathode to enhance the battery properties.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0897-4756; 48379; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chemistry of Materials; Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 3
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Nanoscale; cathode; battery; aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory