Structural and Electrochemical Relations in Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Batteries

  • Date:
  • Location: Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Renman, Viktor
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Strukturkemi
  • Contact person: Renman, Viktor
  • Disputation

Rechargeable batteries have already conquered the market of portable electronics (i.e., mobile phones and laptops) and are set to further enable the large-scale deployment of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles in a not too distant future. In this context, a deeper understanding of the fundamental processes governing the electrochemical behavior of electrode materials for batteries is required for further development of these applications. The aims of the work described in this thesis have been to investigate how electrochemical properties and structural properties of novel electrode materials relate to each other. In this sense, electrochemical characterization, structural analysis using XRD and their combined simultaneous use via in operando XRD experiments have played a crucial part.

The investigations showed that: Two oxohalides, Ni3Sb4O6F6 and Mn2Sb3O6Cl, react with Li-ions in a complex manner involving different types of reaction mechanisms at low voltages in Li half cells. In operando XRD show that both of these materials are reduced in a conversion reaction via an in situ formation of nanocomposites, which proceed to react reversibly with Li-ions in a combination of alloying and conversion reactions.

Carbon-coated Na2Mn2Si2O7 was synthesized and characterized as a possible positive electrode material for non-aqueous Na-ion batteries. DFT calculations point to a structural origin of the modest electrochemical behavior of this material. It is suggested that structural rearrangements upon desodiation are associated with large overpotentials.

It is demonstrated via an in operando synchrotron XRD study that Fe(CN)6 vacancies in copper hexacyanoferrate (CuHCF) play an important role in the electrochemical behavior toward Zn2+ in an aqueous CuHCF/Zn cell. Furthermore, manganese hexacyanomanganate (MnHCM) is shown to react reversibly with Li+, Na+ and K+ in non-aqueous alkali metal half cells. In contrast to CuHCF, which is a zero-strain material, MnHCM undergoes a series of structural transitions (from monoclinic to cubic) during electrochemical cycling.