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Identification of an Intermediate Phase, Li1/2FeSO4F, Formed during Electrochemical Cycling of Tavorite LiFeSO4F
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Structural Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Physics.
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2014 (English)In: Chemistry of Materials, ISSN 0897-4756, E-ISSN 1520-5002, Vol. 26, no 15, 4620-4628 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many compounds adopting the tavorite-type crystal structure have attracted considerable attention as cathode materials for lithium ion batteries due to the favorable structural characteristics, facilitating promising electrochemical performance. Recent reports have highlighted the complex mechanism of lithium insertion/extraction in some of these compounds, such as the stabilization of intermediate phases in the LiFeSO4OH and LiVPO4F systems. In the case of tavorite LiFeSO4F, reported density functional theory (DFT) calculations have suggested the possibility of a similar behavior, but thus far, no experimental verification of such a process has, to the best of our knowledge, been successfully demonstrated. In this work, we investigate the structural evolution of LiFeSO4F upon extraction/insertion of lithium ions from/into the host framework. By thorough ex situ characterizations of chemically and electrochemically prepared LixFeSO4F-samples (0 ≤ x ≤ 1), we demonstrate the stabilization of an intermediate phase, Li1/2FeSO4F, for which one possible structural model is proposed. However, results indicating charge ordering on the iron-sites, suggesting the formation of a super structure with a larger unit cell, are also highlighted. Moreover, the degree of formation of Li1/2FeSO4F is shown to be highly dependent on the rate of lithium extraction as a result of an exceptionally small potential separation (similar to 15 mV during charging) of the two subsequently occurring biphasic processes, LiFeSO4F/Li1/2FeSO4F and Li1/2FeSO4F/FeSO4F. Finally, the intermediate phase is shown to be formed both on charge and discharge during battery cycling, even though an apparent asymmetrical electrochemical trace suggests the contrary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 26, no 15, 4620-4628 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232001DOI: 10.1021/cm502104qISI: 000340346300038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232001DiVA: diva2:747000
Available from: 2014-09-15 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2015-10-27
In thesis
1. LiFeSO4F as a Cathode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries: Synthesis, Structure, and Function
Open this publication in new window or tab >>LiFeSO4F as a Cathode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries: Synthesis, Structure, and Function
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, two recently discovered polymorphs of LiFeSO4F, adopting a tavorite- and triplite-type structure, were investigated as potential candidates for use as cathode materials in Li-ion batteries. The studies aimed at enriching the fundamental understanding of the synthetic preparations, structural properties, and electrochemical functionality of these materials.

By in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD), the formation mechanism of the tavorite-type LiFeSO4F was followed starting from two different sets of precursors, FeSO4∙H2O + LiF, and Li2SO4 + FeF2. The results indicated that the formation of LiFeSO4F is possible only through the structurally related FeSO4∙H2O, in line with the generally recognized topotactic reaction mechanism. Moreover, an in-house solvothermal preparation of this polymorph was optimized with the combined use of XRD and Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS) to render phase pure and well-ordered samples. Additionally, the triplite-type LiFeSO4F was prepared using a facile high-energy ball milling procedure.

The electrochemical performance of as-prepared tavorite LiFeSO4F was found to be severely restricted due to residual traces of the reaction medium (tetraethylene glycol (TEG)) on the surface of the synthesized particles. A significantly enhanced performance could be achieved by removing the TEG residues by thorough washing, and a subsequent application of an electronically conducting surface coating of p-doped PEDOT. The conducting polymer layer assisted the formation of a percolating network for efficient electron transport throughout the electrode, resulting in optimal redox behavior with low polarization and high capacity. In the preparation of cast electrodes suitable for use in commercial cells, reducing the electrode porosity was found to be a key parameter to obtain high-quality electrochemical performance. The triplite-type LiFeSO4F showed similar improvements upon PEDOT coating as the tavorite-type polymorph, but with lower capacity and less stable long-term cycling due to intrinsically sluggish kinetics and unfavorable particle morphology.

Finally, the Li+-insertion/extraction process in tavorite LiFeSO4F was investigated. By thorough ex situ characterization of chemically and electrochemically prepared LixFeSO4F compositions (0≤x≤1), the formation of an intermediate phase, Li1/2FeSO4F, was identified for the first time. These findings helped redefine the (de)lithiation mechanism which occurs through two subsequent biphasic reactions, in contrast to a previously established single biphasic process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 79 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1291
Li-ion battery, cathode, LiFeSO4F, tavorite, triplite, synthesis, performance, structure, coating, PEDOT, XRD, Mössbauer spectrocopy, SEM, TEM, electrochemistry
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Research subject
Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262715 (URN)978-91-554-9344-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-05, Häggsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-09-18 Last updated: 2015-10-27

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Sobkowiak, AdamHäggström, LennartEricsson, ToreEdström, KristinaGustafsson, TorbjörnBjörefors, Fredrik
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