We take advantage of scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy to investigate the changes in near-surface electronic structure and quantify the degree of local degradation of Ni-based cathode materials with the layered structure (LiNi 0.8 Mn 0.1 Co 0.1 O 2 and LiNi 0.4 Mn 0.3 Co 0.3 O 2 ) after 20 cycles of delithiation and lithiation. Reduction of transition metals occurs in the near-surface region of cathode materials: Mn is the major element to be reduced in the case of relatively Mn-rich composition, while reduction of Ni ions is dominant in Ni-rich materials. The valences of Ni and Mn ions are complementary, i.e., when one is reduced, the other is oxidized in order to maintain charge neutrality. The depth of degradation zone is found to be much deeper in Ni-rich materials. This comparative analysis provides important insights needed for the devising of new cathode materials with high capacity as well as long lifetime.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics