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Increased Performance Improvement of Lithium-Ion Batteries by Dry Powder Coating of High-Nickel NMC with Nanostructured Fumed Ternary Lithium Metal Oxides

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-20, 17:33 authored by Marcel J. Herzog, Nicolas Gauquelin, Daniel Esken, Johan Verbeeck, Jürgen Janek
Dry powder coating is an effective approach to protect the surfaces of layered cathode active materials (CAMs) in lithium-ion batteries. Previous investigations indicate an incorporation of lithium ions in fumed Al2O3, ZrO2, and TiO2 coatings on LiNi0.7Mn0.15Co0.15O2 during cycling, improving the cycling performance. Here, this coating approach is transferred for the first time to fumed ternary LiAlO2, Li4Zr3O8, and Li4Ti5O12 and directly compared with their lithium-free equivalents. All materials could be processed equally and their nanostructured small aggregates accumulate on the CAM surfaces to quite homogeneous coating layers with a certain porosity. The LiNixMnyCozO2 (NMC) coated with lithium-containing materials shows an enhanced improvement in overall capacity, capacity retention, rate performance, and polarization behavior during cycling, compared to their lithium-free analogues. The highest rate performance was achieved with the fumed ZrO2 coating, while the best long-term cycling stability with the highest absolute capacity was obtained for the fumed LiAlO2-coated NMC. The optimal coating agent for NMC to achieve a balanced system is fumed Li4Ti5O12, providing a good compromise between high rate capability and good capacity retention. The coating agents prevent CAM particle cracking and degradation in the order LiAlO2 ≈ Al2O3 > Li4Ti5O12 > Li4Zr3O8 > ZrO2 > TiO2. A schematic model for the protection and electrochemical performance enhancement of high-nickel NMC with fumed metal oxide coatings is sketched. It becomes apparent that physical and chemical characteristics of the coating significantly influence the performance of NMC. A high degree of coating-layer porosity is favorable for the rate capability, while a high coverage of the surface, especially in vulnerable grain boundaries, enhances the long-term cycling stability and improves the cracking behavior of NMCs. While zirconium-containing coatings possess the best chemical properties for high rate performances, aluminum-containing coatings feature a superior chemical nature to protect high-nickel NMCs.

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