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Insight into the Fast-Rechargeability of a Novel Mo 1.5 W 1.5 Nb 14 O 44 Anode Material for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batt...

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Advanced Energy Materials
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Wadsley–Roth phased niobates are promising anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, while their inherently low electrical conductivity still limits their rate-capability. Herein, a novel doped Mo1.5W1.5Nb14O44 (MWNO) material is facilely prepared via an ionothermal-synthesis-assisted doping strategy. The detailed crystal structure of MWNO is characterized by neutron powder diffraction and aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, unveiling the full occupation of Mo6+-dopant at the t1 tetrahedral site. In half-cells, MWNO exhibits enhanced fast-rechargeability. The origin of the improved performance is investigated by ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, density functional theory (DFT) computation, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, revealing that bandgap narrowing improves the electrical conductivity of MWNO. Furthermore, operando X-ray diffraction elucidates that MWNO exhibits a typical solid-solution phase conversion-based lithium-ion insertion/extraction mechanism with reversible structural evolution during the electrochemical reaction. The boosted lithium-ion diffusivity of MWNO, due to the Mo6+/W6+ doping effect, is confirmed by a galvanostatic intermittent titration technique and DFT. With the simultaneously enhanced electrical conductivity and lithium-ion diffusivity, MWNO successfully demonstrates its fast-rechargeability and practicality in the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4-coupled full-cells. Therefore, this work illustrates the potential of ionothermal synthesis in energy storage materials and provides a mechanistic understanding of the doping effect on improving material's electrochemical performance.