Application of Al-Doped LLTO Solid Electrolyte Prepared By Sol-Gel Method in Lithium-Oxygen Batteries
In this study, we investigated the feasibility of application of Al-doped LLTO ceramics with nominal formula of (Li1/3La5/9)1.005Ti0.99Al0.01O3 (denoted as A-LLTO) in Li–O2 batteries. A-LLTO was synthesized using sol-gel modified Pechini method in the aim of (i) reducing the synthesis temperature (up to 300-400 oC compared to the conventional solid state reaction method); (ii) lessening loss of lithium and gaining homogeneous mixture easily. As referred above, since LLTO cannot contacts directly with Li metal, prior to being assembled in organic- type Li-O2 battery as an electrolyte separator On the A-LLTO ceramics with 16 mm diameter and 200 m thickness, a thin protective layer of LiPON of 200 nm in thickness was sputtered for separation of A-LLTO from the Li metal anode. The perovskite material was used as catalyst for cathode material of the batteries.
The XRD patterns of A-LLTO ceramics obtained after annealing were compared and matched with Li0.33La0.56TiO3 (Code: 01-087-0935; Tetragonal) confirming purely the tetragonal crystalline structure P4/mmm space group of perovskite phase without secondary phases. After polished and heat etched at, the surface of the ceramics was observed using SEM. T ceramics was composed of grains of typical rectangle shape connected together closely. The largest grain size reached 100 m.
Ionic conductivity of A-LLTO measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) exhibited the relatively high conductivity of 3.17 10-4 S/cm. This is attributed to the low total activation energy of 0.358 eV and the somewhat large crystal grain size compared with ceramics prepared at the same temperature.
The Li-O2 cells employing the A-LLTO ceramic electrolytes were tested in galvanostatic and constant capacity mode. Effect of current density and operating temperature on the charge-discharge behavior of Li-O2 cell was investigated. The Li-O2 cell employing A-LLTO electrolyte layer exhibited the satisfactory performance.