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Title: Lithium insertion properties of Li{sub x}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7} investigated by neutron diffraction and first-principles modelling

TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7}, a good candidate as anode in lithium batteries, was treated with n-butyllithium to synthesize Li{sub x}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7} phases similar to those formed during electrochemical reactions. The Li{sub 2.67}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7} and Li{sub 3.33}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7} compounds, monoclinic C2/m, were studied by time-of-flight powder neutron diffraction. Their crystal structures, containing 3×3 blocks of (Ti,Nb)O{sub 6} octahedra, were Rietveld refined including Li positions. The Li atoms are distributed in similar amounts over sites with (Li–O) Coordination Numbers 5 and 4, although CN=5 should be preferred for having lower energy. Quantum-mechanical calculations were also performed, determining the average charge–discharge voltages to be 1.415 and 1.571 V for Li{sub 3.33}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7} and Li{sub 2.67}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7}, respectively, in good agreement with experimental results. An analysis of the theoretical charge distribution shows that, on lithiation, the chemical reduction of Ti and Nb atoms concentrates in the more condensed peripheral octahedra of the 3×3 block. This corresponds to electrons moving into a partly spin-polarized small band which gives rise to semi-metallic conductivity. - Graphical abstract: Structure of monoclinic Li{sub 3.33}TiNb{sub 2}O{sub 7}, and corresponding electron density of states. - Highlights: • Lithium was chemically inserted into the battery anode material TiNb{submore » 2}O{sub 7}. • Li atoms are distributed over four- and fivefold oxygen coordinated sites. • On lithiation Nb and Ti atoms are reduced according to a peculiar structural pattern. • Theoretically predicted charge–discharge voltages fit experiments very well.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università di Milano Bicocca, via R. Cozzi 55, I-20125 Milano (Italy)
  2. ISIS Facility, CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot, Oxon OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22486749
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Solid State Chemistry; Journal Volume: 229; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; CARBON NITRIDES; CHARGE DISTRIBUTION; CYANIDES; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRONS; LITHIUM COMPOUNDS; MONOCLINIC LATTICES; NEUTRON DIFFRACTION; NIOBATES; POWDERS; QUANTUM MECHANICS; REDUCTION; SHEAR; SPIN ORIENTATION; TIME-OF-FLIGHT METHOD; TITANIUM COMPOUNDS