Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica

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Effects of ZrO2 Coating on Ni-rich LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 Cathodes with Enhanced Cycle Stabilities

Yuefeng Su1,2, Qiyu Zhang1,2, Lai Chen1,2, Liying Bao1, Yun Lu1,2, Shi Chen1, Feng Wu1,2   

  1. 1 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, P. R. China;
    2 Beijing Institute of Technology Chongqing Innovation Center, Chongqing 401120, P. R. China
  • Received:2020-05-25 Revised:2020-06-02 Accepted:2020-06-08 Published:2020-06-12
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFB0100301), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21875022, 51802020, U1664255), the Science and Technology Innovation Foundation of Beijing Institute of Technology Chongqing Innovation Center, China (2020CX5100006), the Beijing Institute of Technology Research Fund Program for Young Scholars, and the Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program by CAST, China (2018QNRC001).

Abstract: With the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), the demand for lithium ion power batteries with high energy density and long cycle life has continuously increased in the recent years. According to the “Made in China 2025” plan, the energy densities of lithium ion batteries need to reach 300 Wh·kg-1 in 2020. Due to their high discharge capacities and work voltages, Ni-rich layered materials have attracted considerable attention from the science and industry fields as one of the most promising cathodes to achieve high energy density. According to previous reports, the discharge capacities of Ni-rich cathodes were positively correlated to their Ni content. However, the increased Ni content can aggravate the side reactions between the cathode and electrolyte, induce O loss, and trigger structural transformation from the surface to bulk. In this study, ZrO2 was coated on LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 with a simple wet chemical method to improve its cycle performance. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) demonstrated that Zr was only detected in the ZrO2-coated samples and was mainly distributed at the surface of the secondary particles of the LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 cathodes. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that Zr4+ in ZrO2 migrated into the layered surface structure of LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 based on the shift of the (003) peak to a lower angle, which was considered as a lattice expansion along the c axis. Under the cut-off voltage of 4.3 and 4.5 V, the capacity retentions of the LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 cathodes improved from 84.89 to 97.61% and 75.60 to 81.37%, respectively, after 100 cycles at 1C. This was mainly attributed to the doped Zr4+ in surface structure as opposed to the ZrO2 coating. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the Ni3+ at the surface of LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 was reduced to Ni2+ after the Zr4+ surface doping due to charge balance. Rietveld refinement also indicated that the Li+/Ni2+ cation disordering improved after the Zr4+ in ZrO2 doped into NCM surface structure. The raised cation disordering may be triggered by the increased content of Ni2+ and their migration into Li layers due to the similar ion radius of Li+ (0.076 nm) and Ni2+ (0.069 nm). A structure-reconstructed layer at the surface of LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 was formed after the Zr4+ doping, which had been confirmed by transmission electron microscope (TEM). It was determined that this structure-reconstructed layer can hinder the side reactions at the interface and stabilize the bulk structure during cycles; thus, the cycle stability of LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 material was improved.

Key words: Lithium ion battery, LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2, Cathode material, ZrO2 coating, Zr4+ doping, Surface structural reconstruction


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