Modification and degradation of Ni-rich cathode-based Li-ion batteries

Modification and degradation of Ni-rich cathode-based Li-ion batteries
Credit: Shutterstock

A consensus on the need to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy sources has been reached with the majority of countries worldwide pledging to realize carbon-neutrality before 2050. This will involve decreasing CO2 emissions and expanding the proportion of renewable energy sources such as rechargeable battery systems, such as Li-ion batteries which have received tremendous attention from industry and academia. Still, challenges on developing next-generation LIBs with enhanced performance remain due to the performance limitations of currently used electrode materials. For her Ph.D. research, Ming Jiang looked at electrode material design and degradation mechanisms in nickel-rich cathode-based batteries.

The bottleneck to increasing the energy density of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) is the cathode material. For instance, layered Ni-rich (nickel-rich) have a relatively high energy density but suffer poor cycling stability. The instability of Ni-rich cathode-based LIBs is associated with various passive reactions occurring inside batteries.

Nanostructure morphology

Material optimization strategies can mitigate these detriments. For her Ph.D. research, Ming Jiang considered electrode material design and degradation mechanisms of Ni-rich cathode-based batteries. Ni-rich NCM cathodes and Li-metal anodes with superior battery performance are achieved through these novel optimization strategies. The corresponding degradation phenomena are investigated, and detailed mechanisms are identified.

Jiang designed an optimized Ni-rich cathode material with nanostructure morphology. With this design, the battery stability and Li-ion transportation kinetics are enhanced through a unique fabrication method. Further characterizations affirm a high exposure ratio of specific crystal facets, which is beneficial for Li-ion diffusion and structural intactness during cycling. Moreover, the improved fast-charging capability has also been realized thanks to the well-designed morphology, suggesting a practical potential of the proposed material.

Deterioration processes

In addition to new material synthesis, Jiang investigated deterioration processes in battery systems as this is essential for boosting the development of LIBs. Multiple passive reactions occur simultaneously in a battery, such as cathode dissolution, solid-electrolyte-interphase formation, and micro-cracking. These side reactions consume active Li-ions and , which eventually causes the battery capacity to decay.

Every part in a battery system may participate in passive reactions, including electrode materials, binders, conductive carbon, and other additives. However, it is difficult to separate each part during a post-mortem study for a conventional battery configuration. Therefore, Jiang proposed a thin-film cathode with a simplified structure for degradation investigation in the Ni-rich cathode battery system. With the depth-profiling technique, the composition of the passive layer and the mechanism of performance decline have been studied in detail. The function of the protective layer coating on the Ni-rich cathode has also been investigated.

Besides studying the cathode material, Jiang also explored the surface modification of Li-metal anode in Ni-rich -based LIBs. A protective coating layer is introduced to stabilize the lithium plating/stripping process during cycling. This enables prolonged battery lifetime and mitigates the passive layer formation on the anode surface. Post-mortem characterizations reveal the different deterioration processes for various Li-metal anodes, and the possible degradation mechanism is studied in the research.

Explore further

Reactive electrolyte additives improve lithium metal battery performance

More information: Ming Jiang, Modification and degradation of Ni-rich cathode-based Li-ion batteries. … de-based-li-ion-batt
Citation: Modification and degradation of Ni-rich cathode-based Li-ion batteries (2022, April 12) retrieved 27 September 2022 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors