Underlying Mechanisms of the Synergistic Role of Li₂MnO₃ and LiNi_{1/3}Co_{1/3}Mn_{1/3}O₂ in High-Mn, Li-Rich Oxides



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Royal Society of Chemistry



For large-scale energy storage applications requiring high energy density, the development of Li-rich oxides with enhanced cyclic stabilities during high-voltage operations and large specific capacities is required. In this regard, high-Mn, Li-rich oxides (HMLOs; xLi₂MnO₃3 (1 - x)LiNi_{1/3}Co_{1/3}Mn_{1/3}O₂ at x > 0.5) warrant an in-depth study because of their good cyclic performance at high operating voltages and potentially large specific capacities. Here, to understand the synergistic effects and enhanced cyclic stability of HMLOs, mechanically blended HMLO (m-HMLO) and chemically bonded HMLO (c-HMLO) were prepared and investigated. c-HMLO exhibits relatively high reaction voltages, large specific capacities, and enhanced cyclic stabilities (∼99%) at a high operating voltage (∼4.8 V vs. Li/Li⁺) compared with m-HMLO. First-principles calculations with electronic structure analysis were performed using an atomic model developed by Rietveld refinement using as-synthesised c-HMLO. The redox mechanisms of Ni, Co, and Mn ions were determined via the partial density of states of the ground states predicted using the cluster expansion method, which elucidates that LiNi_{1/3}Co_{1/3}Mn_{1/3}O₂ stabilises the transition metal (TM) layer of Li₁MnO₃ and separates Li delithiation potentials in Li₁MnO₃ in the HMLO. Kinetic analyses including electronic structures revealed that the interlayer migration of TMs from the TM layer to the Li layer depends on the crystal field stabilisation. Thus, TMs with reduced character in the tetrahedral sites than the octahedral sites owing to the effects of crystal field stabilisation, such as Ni ions, in HMLOs would face a higher interlayer migration barrier, impeding phase transformation into spinel phases. Furthermore, Cu ions could constitute a doping source for HMLOs to improve the material's cyclic stability through this mechanism. These characteristics may be widely applied to explain experimental phenomena and improve the properties of cathode materials for Li-ion batteries.


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Crystal field theory, Phase transformations (Statistical physics), Lithium ion batteries, Manganese oxides, Lithium compounds


"This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (2012R1A3A2048841) and the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20152020105420)."


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