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LiNixFeyAlzO2, a new cobalt-free layered cathode material for advanced Li-ion batteries...

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Journal of Power Sources
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Recently, rapid fluctuations in cobalt prices have created a worsening supply chain constraint that has become a serious cause of concern amidst global battery manufacturers. To address this challenge, here we report a new class of cobalt-free, nickel-rich layered cathode material termed the NFA class with general formula LiNixFeyAlzO2 (x + y + z = 1). Using co-precipitation reaction in a continuous stirred tank reactor, we synthesized NFA(OH)2 precursors with the constituent Ni, Fe and Al elements successfully incorporated. The obtained LiNFAO2 cathode was characterized using X-Ray diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Electrochemical behavior was assessed using cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge/discharge, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and galvanostatic intermittent titration technique at various states of lithiation/delithiation. Electrochemical performance evaluations revealed that our cobalt-free material delivers high capacity of 190 mAh/g at 0.1C. Rate and cycling performance evaluations also indicated good rate capability and cycling stability with 88% capacity retention after 100 cycles at C/3. Using NFA cathodes, we also fabricated a 0.5Ah (C/3) cobalt-free Li-ion battery which demonstrated reasonable cycling stability with ~72% capacity retained after 200 cycles. Overall, our work demonstrates the immense potential of the cobalt-free NFA class cathodes as viable candidates towards development of next generation cost effective lithium ion batteries.