As high-efficiency energy storage system, lithium ion batteries are widely applied in not only consumer electronics but also electric vehicles. Although the research on the cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries has attracted extensive interest, the deep understanding on their structural properties and the insight into their structural evolution are still lack. By taking advantages of sensitive, penetrative and nondestructive properties of neutrons, we adopted ex-situ and in-situ neutron diffraction techniques to explore the structural characteristics of cathode materials, especially the structural evolution of cathodes during cycling in real time. It is revealed that Li/Ni antisite defects formed in layered cathodes and they varied upon charging and diacharging. Moreover, the visualization of the lithium-ion migration pathway in cathode indicated that lithium-ions diffused via different hopping paths at different states of charge. Based on the relationship between structural and electrochemical properties of cathode materials, we modified and optimized the performances of cathodes by adopting different synthesis procedures, which are of scientific and practical significance. Besides of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, some of our research works on alternative cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries will also be presented.
Dr. Jitae Park
Dr. Theresia Heiden-Hecht