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Fast and Scalable Synthesis of LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 Cathode by Sol–Gel-Assisted Microwave Sintering...

by Umair Nisar, Abdul Shakoor, Md Ruhul Amin, Rachid Essehli
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Energy Technology
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High-voltage spinel LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 (LNMO) is a promising cathode material for high-energy-density and high-power-density lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The high cost of the currently available LIBs needs to be addressed urgently for wide application in the transport sector (electric vehicles, buses) and large-scale energy storage systems (ESS). Of significance, herein, novel fast and scalable microwave-assisted synthesis of LNMO is reported, which leads to a production cost cut. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirms the formation of the desired phase with high crystallinity. Field emission scanning (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses indicate that the synthesized phase is of nanometric size (50–150 nm) due to an extremely short sintering time (20 min). The material synthesized at 750 °C shows a higher initial discharge capacity (130 mA h g−1) than that synthesized at 650 °C (115 mA h g−1). The materials heat treated at higher temperatures show better electrochemical performance in terms of initial capacity, rate capability, and improved cycling. The improved electrochemical performance of LNMO at 750 °C is attributed to the formation of a stable crystal structure, low charge transfer resistance at the electrode/electrolyte interface, high electrical conductivity due to the presence of a disorder structure, and improved ionic diffusivity.