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Versatile Si/P System as Efficient Anode for Lithium and Sodium Batteries: Understanding of an Original Electrochemical Mechanism by a Full XRD-NMR Study

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journal contribution
posted on 09.07.2018, 00:00 by Gaël Coquil, Bernard Fraisse, Nicolas Dupré, Laure Monconduit
As illustrated by recent extensive crystallographic studies, the structural richness of the ternary Li/Si/P system offers a unique variety of physical properties. Taking advantage of 3D networks enabling fast ionic conduction properties, new phosphorus silicides based electrodes have recently emerged, exhibiting attractive performance in Li-ion as well as in Na-ion batteries. To date, SiP2 reaction mechanism vs Li or Na has nevertheless not been elucidated. The combination of operando X-ray diffraction and ex situ 31P, 7Li, 23Na, and 19F MAS NMR spectroscopy allows here probing of both long-range structural information and evolution of local environments. These complementary techniques lead to deeper understanding and depiction of the mechanism behind the lithiation/delithiation and sodiation/desodiation of SiP2. The versatility of connection of tetrahedral SiP4 anions, from three-dimensional network to isolated SiP4 units, stabilized by an increasing number of counterions as a function of the state of charge/discharge is the driving force of the new SiP2/Li and SiP2/Na batteries. This richness of SiP4 anions’ crystallographic network allows stepwise phase transitions during lithiation/delithiation which limit the detrimental effects of volume expansion.