Scientists Developed a New Type of High-Nickel Ternary Cathode Material

In the forefront of new energy battery research, the development and large-scale preparation of new high-nickel cathode materials is particularly urgent.Currently, Professor Guo Hong's team from the School of Materials and Energy at Yunnan University has designed and prepared a new type of high-nickel ternary cathode material, which is expected to be used in Li-ion cells and other fields. The research results were published in the international journal "Applied Chemistry of Germany".

The importance of high-nickel ternary cathode materials for Li-ion cells

The development of new high-nickel ternary cathode materials has attracted much attention due to their high discharge specific capacity, good cycling and thermal stability. "Currently, commercially available products of this kind are mainly concentrated in nickel-cobalt-manganese lithium and nickel-cobalt-aluminum lithium. However, traditional high-nickel ternary cathode materials have poor cycling stability, air stability, and thermal stability, which seriously hinders the industrialization process," introduced Professor Guo Hong. The latest research shows that the new high-nickel cathode materials formed by doping with high-valence state elements can not only optimize the morphology of primary particles but also construct a structurally stable and lithium ion transport unaffected superlattice layer. This effectively eliminates the micro-stress formed by secondary particles during charge and discharge processes, optimizes the migration path of lithium ions, and effectively improves the structural stability of the cathode material during charge and discharge cycles and thermal runaway processes.

Advantages of the new Li-ion cells

Therefore, Professor Guo Hong's team carried out precise and controllable design of the material's microstructure, and combined with theoretical calculations, they conducted in-depth research on different element doping barriers and their competing doping mechanisms, and analyzed the matching degree and interaction mechanisms between the surface lithium ion conductor coating layer and the matrix. Then, they assembled a liquid lithium-ion battery with graphite as the negative electrode and the new high-nickel ternary cathode material as the positive electrode, and systematically evaluated the material's cycling stability.

The results show that the research team successfully prepared high-nickel (> 90%) nickel-cobalt-molybdenum lithium with a sub-surface superlattice, bulk phase-doped titanium, and surface-coated lithium ion conductor. Its unique structural features can improve the long cycling stability of the cathode material from multiple perspectives, wherein the nano-coating can suppress side reactions between the electrolyte and the cathode material, and the superlattice structures can effectively stabilize the delithiated layered structure, thus inhibiting the reconstruction from the layered to rock salt-like structure; titanium doping can increase the interlayer spacing of the lithium-oxygen layer and improve the electronic conductivity.

"This innovative synthesis strategy is also applicable to the development of other new high-nickel cathode materials, providing a new approach for the next generation of Li-ion cells with lower production costs, better cycling stability, and higher energy density," said Professor Guo Hong.

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