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Cycle-Induced Interfacial Degradation and Transition-Metal Cross-Over in LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2-Graphite Cells.

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Björklund, Erik 
Sole, Christopher G 


Ni-rich lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) oxide cathode materials promise Li-ion batteries with increased energy density and lower cost. However, higher Ni content is accompanied by accelerated degradation and thus poor cycle lifetime, with the underlying mechanisms and their relative contributions still poorly understood. Here, we combine electrochemical analysis with surface-sensitive X-ray photoelectron and absorption spectroscopies to observe the interfacial degradation occurring in LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2-graphite full cells over hundreds of cycles between fixed cell voltages (2.5-4.2 V). Capacity losses during the first ∼200 cycles are primarily attributable to a loss of active lithium through electrolyte reduction on the graphite anode, seen as thickening of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI). As a result, the cathode reaches ever-higher potentials at the end of charge, and with further cycling, a regime is entered where losses in accessible NMC capacity begin to limit cycle life. This is accompanied by accelerated transition-metal reduction at the NMC surface, thickening of the cathode electrolyte interphase, decomposition of residual lithium carbonate, and increased cell impedance. Transition-metal dissolution is also detected through increased incorporation into and thickening of the SEI, with Mn found to be initially most prevalent, while the proportion of Ni increases with cycling. The observed evolution of anode and cathode surface layers improves our understanding of the interconnected nature of the degradation occurring at each electrode and the impact on capacity retention, informing efforts to achieve a longer cycle lifetime in Ni-rich NMCs.



40 Engineering, 4016 Materials Engineering, 34 Chemical Sciences, 3406 Physical Chemistry, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

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Chem Mater

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American Chemical Society (ACS)
Faraday Institution (FIRG001, FIRG011)
European Research Council (950598)
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (101032281)
The Faraday Institution (FIRG024)