American Chemical Society
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Promotion of the Nucleation of Ultrafine Ni-Rich Layered Oxide Primary Particles by an Atomic Layer-Deposited Thin Film for Enhanced Mechanical Stability

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-14, 11:41 authored by Xincan Cai, Zihan Wang, Yurui Xing, Caihong Zheng, Pu Yan, Wenda Bao, Tianye Xie, Yuxiong Hu, Yingdong Deng, Yue Zhang, Yifan Wu, Shaoyu Yang, Fan Zheng, Hongti Zhang, Zhu-Jun Wang, Jin Xie
Understanding the atomistic mechanisms of non-equilibrium processes during solid-state synthesis, such as nucleation and grain structure formation of a layered oxide phase, is a critical challenge for developing promising cathode materials such as Ni-rich layered oxide for Li-ion batteries. In this study, we found that the aluminum oxide coating layer transforms into lithium aluminate as an intermediate, which has favorable low interfacial energies with the layered oxide to promote the nucleation of the latter. The fast and uniform nucleation and formation of the layered oxide phase at relatively low temperatures were evidenced using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The resulting Ni-rich layered oxide cathode has fine primary particles, as visualized by three-dimensional tomography constructed using a focused-ion beam and scanning electron microscopy. The densely packed fine primary particles enable the excellent mechanical strength of the secondary particles, as demonstrated by in situ compression tests. This strategy provides a new approach for developing next-generation, high-strength battery materials.