In a full-cell, it is desired that the negative electrode does not contribute to side reactions in a significant way if the interest is more on the positive side. Among candidates on the negative side, Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) is known for its stability since its voltage plateau (around 1.5 V vs. Li/Li+) is in the electrochemical stability window of standard electrolytes and it shows a very small volume change during lithiation. These characteristics make the LNMO-LTO system attractive for a variety of applications (e.g. electric vehicles) but also make it a good model system for studying aging in high voltage spinel-based full cells.
In this study, we aim to understand the fundamental mechanisms resulting in capacity fading for LNMO-LTO full cells both at room temperature and elevated temperature (55°C). It is known that electrode interactions occur in this system due to migration of reaction products from LNMO to the LTO side3, 4. For this purpose, three electrode cells have been cycled galvanostatically with short-duration intermittent current interruptions5 in order to observe internal resistance for both LNMO and LTO electrodes in a full cell, separately. Change of voltage curves over cycling has also been observed to get an insight into capacity loss. For comparison purposes, back-to-back cells (a combination of LNMO and LTO cells connected electrically by lithium sides) were also tested similarly. Post-cycling of harvested electrodes in half cells was conducted to determine the degree of capacity loss due to charge slippage compared to other aging factors. Surface characterization of LNMO as well as LTO electrodes after cycling at room temperature and elevated temperature has been done via SEM, XPS, HAXPES and XANES.
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