NH4F Surface Modification of the Li-Rich Layered Li1.2Mn0.54Ni0.13Co0.13O2 Cathode Material with Improved Rate Performance and Cycling Stability
To conquer this critical issue, the present study is focused on surface modification on Li-rich layered cathode materials to improve their rate capability as well as maintain the high capacity retention of the pristine material. Surface treatment is conducted on Li1.2Mn0.54Ni0.13Co0.13O2 using NH4F by thermal annealing at low temperature. Material characterizations reveal that the modification process triggers fluorine doping and phase transition from layered phase to spinel phase at the particle surface, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the rate performances of the pristine Li1.2Mn0.54Ni0.13Co0.13O2 and the modified materials. The pristine material could deliver a high reversible capacity of about 250 mAh·g-1 at 0.1C (25 mA·g-1). However, its discharge capacity is about 109 mAh·g-1 at 1C, which is only 43% of the capacity at 0.1C. Compared with the pristine material, both the materials modified by 5 wt.% and 10 wt.% NH4F can deliver a discharge capacity over 140 mAh·g-1at 1C, which is more than 70% of their discharge capacities at 0.1C. Particularly, the material modified by 20 wt.%
NH4F has a discharge capacity as high as 172 mAh·g-1 at 1C, which is over 87% of its capacity at 0.1C. Moreover at even higher rate like 5C, the discharge capacity of the material modified by 20 wt.% NH4F still can reach 126 mAh·g-1 while the discharge capacity of pristine one is only 41 mAh·g-1. Generally, the NH4F modified Li1.2Mn0.54Ni0.13Co0.13O2 exhibits greatly improved rate performance and satisfactory cycling stability compared to the pristine material, which can be attributed to the modified particle surface. Firstly, the spinel shell of the particle provides three-dimensional Li+ ion diffusion paths3, which creates fully opened surface, enabling fast Li+ ion transfer at the electrode/electrolyte interface. Secondly, the formation of spinel shell prevents the Ni segregation at the surface, thus suppressing its negative effect on Li+ion diffusion. Finally, the fluorine doped spinel surface improves the surface stability during wide-voltage-range charge-discharge process, resulting in improved cycling stability.
The enhancement in the electrochemical properties of modified materials as a function of the NH4F amount are comprehensively investigated using Power X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and electrochemical tests.
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