"High-capacity battery cathode prelithiation to offset initial lithium loss"

Yongming Sun: Hyun-Wook Lee, Zhi Wei Seh, Nian Liu, Jie Sun, Yuzhang Li & Yi Cui; Nature Energy, 01/11/16.

Additional Authors: Hyun-Wook Lee, Zhi Wei Seh, Nian Liu, Jie Sun, Yuzhang Li & Yi Cui

Abstract:

Loss of lithium in the initial cycles appreciably reduces the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Anode prelithiation is a common approach to address the problem, although it faces the issues of high chemical reactivity and instability in ambient and battery processing conditions. Here we report a facile cathode prelithiation method that offers high prelithiation efficacy and good compatibility with existing lithium-ion battery technologies. We fabricate cathode additives consisting of nanoscale mixtures of transition metals and lithium oxide that are obtained by conversion reactions of metal oxide and lithium. These nanocomposites afford a high theoretical prelithiation capacity (typically up to 800 mAh g−1, 2,700 mAh cm−3) during charging. We demonstrate that in a full-cell configuration, the LiFePO4 electrode with a 4.8% Co/Li2O additive shows 11% higher overall capacity than that of the pristine LiFePO4 electrode. The use of the cathode additives provides an effective route to compensate the large initial lithium loss of high-capacity anode materials and improves the electrochemical performance of existing lithium-ion batteries.