Article

High-capacity battery cathode prelithiation to offset initial lithium loss

  • Nature Energy 1, Article number: 15008 (2016)
  • doi:10.1038/nenergy.2015.8
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Abstract

Loss of lithium in the initial cycles appreciably reduces the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Anode prelithiation is a common approach to address the problem, although it faces the issues of high chemical reactivity and instability in ambient and battery processing conditions. Here we report a facile cathode prelithiation method that offers high prelithiation efficacy and good compatibility with existing lithium-ion battery technologies. We fabricate cathode additives consisting of nanoscale mixtures of transition metals and lithium oxide that are obtained by conversion reactions of metal oxide and lithium. These nanocomposites afford a high theoretical prelithiation capacity (typically up to 800 mAh g−1, 2,700 mAh cm−3) during charging. We demonstrate that in a full-cell configuration, the LiFePO4 electrode with a 4.8% Co/Li2O additive shows 11% higher overall capacity than that of the pristine LiFePO4 electrode. The use of the cathode additives provides an effective route to compensate the large initial lithium loss of high-capacity anode materials and improves the electrochemical performance of existing lithium-ion batteries.

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Acknowledgements

Y.C. acknowledges the support from the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the US Department of Energy under the Battery Materials Research (BMR) Program. S. Lee and G. Zheng are acknowledged for discussions and help.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Yongming Sun
    • , Hyun-Wook Lee
    • , Zhi Wei Seh
    • , Nian Liu
    • , Jie Sun
    • , Yuzhang Li
    •  & Yi Cui
  2. Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA

    • Yi Cui

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Contributions

Y.S. and Y.C. conceived and designed the experiments. Y.S. performed materials fabrication, characterization and electrochemical measurements. H.-W.L. conducted in situ TEM and HR-TEM characterization. Y.S. and Y.C. co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yi Cui.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Figures 1–18 and Supplementary References.

Videos

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Video 1

    The in situ TEM results show that the N-Co/N-Li2O particles continuously shrink upon the delithiation process and less than 1/2 of the initial volume of a particle aggregate is retained after the delithiation.