A new open access paper published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society entitled, “Lithium-Ion Cathode/Coating Pairs for Transition Metal Containment,” finds a new cathode coating for li-ion batteries that could extend the technology’s lifespan.
According to Green Car Congress, the dissolution of transition metals is a major contributor to a li-ion battery’s expedited aging and degradation. However, this new study published in JES by ECS members David Snydacker, Muratahan Aykol, Scott Kirklin, and Christopher Wolverton from Northwestern University makes the case for a new, promising candidate that can act as a stable coating and limit the dissolution of transition metals into the lion electrolyte. That candidate is Li3PO4.
There are several distinct categories of strategies for limiting TM dissolution from the cathode. Electrolytes can be tailored to reduce reactivity with the cathode. Cathode materials can be doped to control the oxidation states of transition metals. This doping can be applied to the entire cathode particle or just near the surface. Cathode materials can also be covered with surface coatings to limit TM dissolution. Surface coatings can perform a variety of functions for different cathode materials. In this work, we evaluate the ability of coating materials to contain TMs in the cathode and thereby prevent TM dissolution into the electrolyte.
Green Car Congress states that Li3PO4 used in the research is unique in the sense that its coatings on oxide cathode materials maintained equilibrium under both lithiated and delithiated conditions.
By reevaluating cathode coating strategies and providing an alternative solution to extend battery lifespans, there arises an opportunity for the development of battery, longer-lasting batteries for everything from handheld electronics to electric vehicles.