Better cathodes for lithium-ion batteries

By Angela HardinApril 1, 2010

Increased interest in the development of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is spurring a multitude of investigations into ways of improving this potential alternative energy source. 

One such study carried out at the XSD/PNC x-ray beamline at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory points to the possibility of designing alternative Li-ion battery cathodes comprising composite lithium metal oxide electrodes containing manganese, vanadium and iron, rather than the costly cobalt and nickel components that are unstable in their charged states.

Improvements to the capacity and cycling stability of the electrodes can be expected by tailoring their composition and the conditions under which the cells operate; for example, electrode and cell balancing and the optimization of upper and lower voltage limits. This work also has implications for using other materials with defect antifluorite-type structure as a source of lithium for loading lithium-ion cells in combination with other charged cathode materials. The results also raise interesting possibilities for exploiting reversible Li2O extraction/Li2O reformation reactions in lithium air cells.

Citation Information: C. S. Johnson et al., Chem. Mater. 22 (3), 1263 (2010).