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Hydrothermal synthesis of Co-free NMA cathodes for high performance Li-ion batteries...

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Journal of Power Sources
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Scalable and sustainable production of high voltage cathodes is required to meet the increasing demands for Li-ion batteries. Additionally, the anticipated scarcity of critical materials like cobalt necessitates demonstration of Co-free alternatives that can match the performance metrics of conventional cathodes. Herein, a hydrothermal synthesis route for production of a new class of high-capacity, cobalt-free cathode material, LiNi0.9Mn0.05Al0.05O2 (NMA9055) for next-generation Li-ion batteries is reported. The synthesized cathode material shows high crystallinity and purity with monodispersed spherical morphology. Extensive electrochemical, structural, and post-mortem characterization of this novel NMA material is carried out. NMA-Li half cells show an initial discharge capacity of 200 mAh/g with a 96% capacity retention over 100 cycles when cycled between 3.0 and 4.4 V. On the other hand, NMA full cells with Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) electrodes as the anode, show an initial discharge capacity of 186 mAh/g with 81% capacity retention over 200 cycles. Post-mortem structural and morphological characterization show that the NMA morphology and crystal structure do not degrade significantly over 200 charge/discharge cycles. This new class of cobalt free cathode material containing nickel, manganese and aluminum synthesized by an ammonia-free synthesis route is expected to provide a facile solution towards sustainable cathode production.