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Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5275, 2022 Sep 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36071065


Lithium-rich disordered rocksalt cathodes display high capacities arising from redox chemistry on both transition-metal ions (TM-redox) and oxygen ions (O-redox), making them promising candidates for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. However, the atomic-scale mechanisms governing O-redox behaviour in disordered structures are not fully understood. Here we show that, at high states of charge in the disordered rocksalt Li2MnO2F, transition metal migration is necessary for the formation of molecular O2 trapped in the bulk. Density functional theory calculations reveal that O2 is thermodynamically favoured over other oxidised O species, which is confirmed by resonant inelastic X-ray scattering data showing only O2 forms. When O-redox involves irreversible Mn migration, this mechanism results in a path-dependent voltage hysteresis between charge and discharge, commensurate with the hysteresis observed electrochemically. The implications are that irreversible transition metal migration should be suppressed to reduce the voltage hysteresis that afflicts O-redox disordered rocksalt cathodes.

Inorg Chem ; 60(10): 7217-7227, 2021 May 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33956446


The effect of crystallizing solution chemistry on the chemistry of subsequently as-grown materials was investigated for Mo-substituted iron oxides prepared by thermally activated co-precipitation. In the presence of Mo ions, we find that varying the oxidation state of the iron precursor from Fe(II) to Fe(III) causes a progressive loss of atomic long-range order with the stabilization of 2-4 nm particles for the sample prepared with Fe(III). The oxidation state of the Fe precursor also affects the distribution of Fe and Mo cations within the spinel structure. Increasing the Fe precursor oxidation state gives decreased Fe-ion occupation and increased Mo-ion occupation of tetrahedral sites, as revealed by the extended X-ray absorption fine structure. The stabilization of Mo within tetrahedral sites appears to be unexpected, considering the octahedral preferred coordination number of Mo(VI). The analysis of the atomic structure of the sample prepared with Fe(III) indicates a local ordering of vacancies and that the occupation of tetrahedral sites by Mo induces a contraction of the interatomic distances within the polyhedra as compared to Fe atoms. Moreover, the occupancy of Mo into the thermodynamic site preference of a Mo dopant in Fe2O3 assessed by density functional theory calculations points to a stronger preference for Mo substitution at octahedral sites. Hence, we suggest that the synthetized compound is thermodynamically metastable, that is, kinetically trapped. Such a state is suggested to be a consequence of the tetrahedral site occupation by Mo ions. The population of these sites, known to be reactive sites enabling particle growth, is concomitant with the stabilization of very small particles. We confirmed our hypothesis by using a blank experiment without Mo ions, further supporting the impact of tetrahedral Mo ions on the growth of iron oxide nanoparticles. Our findings provide new insights into the relationships between the Fe-chemistry of the crystallizing solution and the structural features of the as-grown Mo-substituted Fe-oxide materials.

J Am Chem Soc ; 142(50): 21210-21219, 2020 Dec 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33284622


Strategies to enhance ionic conductivities in solid electrolytes typically focus on the effects of modifying their crystal structures or of tuning mobile-ion stoichiometries. A less-explored approach is to modulate the chemical bonding interactions within a material to promote fast lithium-ion diffusion. Recently, the idea of a solid-electrolyte inductive effect has been proposed, whereby changes in bonding within the solid-electrolyte host framework modify the potential energy landscape for the mobile ions, resulting in an enhanced ionic conductivity. Direct evidence for a solid-electrolyte inductive effect, however, is lacking-in part because of the challenge of quantifying changes in local bonding interactions within a solid-electrolyte host framework. Here, we consider the evidence for a solid-electrolyte inductive effect in the archetypal superionic lithium-ion conductor Li10Ge1-xSnxP2S12. Substituting Ge for Sn weakens the {Ge,Sn}-S bonding interactions and increases the charge density associated with the S2- ions. This charge redistribution modifies the Li+ substructure causing Li+ ions to bind more strongly to the host framework S2- anions, which in turn modulates the Li+ ion potential energy surface, increasing local barriers for Li+ ion diffusion. Each of these effects is consistent with the predictions of the solid-electrolyte inductive effect model. Density functional theory calculations predict that this inductive effect occurs even in the absence of changes to the host framework geometry due to Ge → Sn substitution. These results provide direct evidence in support of a measurable solid-electrolyte inductive effect and demonstrate its application as a practical strategy for tuning ionic conductivities in superionic lithium-ion conductors.